Technology, Power and the Future of Humanity

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1MV063

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Development G2F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 10 March 2016
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

60 credits

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • analyse different views on the role of technology in society, the relationship between technology and sustainable development, and how individual human beings influence and are influenced by different technologies;
  • apply conceptual, analytical and ethical tools to understand the role of technology in individual as well as collective meaning making processes;
  • critically review different technologies, the use and development of technology and its consequences from a power perspective, and methods for risk assessment and evaluation of these consequences.


The course starts with discussion of historical, idea historical and philosophical perspectives on technology.

Emphasis is put on views of the importance and function of technology on a societal and individual level and the possibilities and limitations of the technology to solve environment and development problems.

New technologies and its social consequences are also discussed.

Methods for risk assessment and evaluation of technology are reviewed and analysed, and a power perspective on development of technology used.


For the distance course given in English: one mandatory course introduction in Uppsala, one mandatory course concluding session in Uppsala. During the course in-between Uppsala sessions: recorded lectures, videos and seminars online.


Students are examined through written preparation and active participation in seminars and workshops (3 credits) and at the end of the course through written and oral presentation of projects (4.5 credits).