Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

10.2.2020 at 12:00 - 10.3.2020 at 23:59
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Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Tue 10.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Thu 12.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Tue 17.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Thu 19.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Tue 24.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Thu 26.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Tue 31.3.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Thu 2.4.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Tue 7.4.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Thu 16.4.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Tue 21.4.2020
12:15 - 13:45

Conduct of the course

UPDATED 19.03.2020

Due to the coronavirus situation here are the updated requirements for the course.
The course takes place online fully via video lectures and Moodle discussions on the readings.
The course essay plan will be commented on online and the final essay is to be returned as planned. See below for details.

1. Online lectures made available via Moodle. Please view these in your own time. I cannot monitor if you "attend" these or not.

2. Students are required to read the course literature. Each week we will have two compulsory readings. All students read these and reply to one question I have set. In addition, you are required to comment on two posts by other students, preferably one of which is responding to a different question than yours.

Since the course started with compulsory attendance and now moved online, I will monitor that you have attended or responded online to 7/9 lectures. Lecture 9 does not count, since we are working on the course essay plans then. These should be completed at the latest by April 20th (same day as final essay DL), but please do try to stick to the weekly schedule if possible. Please contact me if you have trouble meeting these requirements due to illness/traveling back home.

3. Students prepare an abstract of their course essay to practice process writing, drafting an essay, and giving and receiving feedback. DL for the essay plans is Wednesday, April 1st.

4. Students peer review other course participants’ essays and give written feedback on one essay plan. The DL for the peer review is Tuesday, April 7th.

5. The final course essay. The DL is Monday, April 20th.


Priority is given to ECGS and SOSM Master’s level students. Max 25 students.

Students should have a good basic knowledge (corresponding to a Bachelor’s degree) in social sciences, such as social and public policy, sociology or an appropriate field, such as environmental sciences. Students should preferably have some familiarity with environmental policy (e.g. Introduction to Environmental Policy).

Students will have the knowledge and tools to critically evaluate the role of science and scientific knowledge in understanding environmental problems and creating solutions for them. Students will be able to apply the theoretical concepts from science and technology studies (STS) to the analysis of historical and current environmental issues.

4. period.

This course examines how knowledge about current and historical environmental phenomena is produced through scientific practices at different levels (local, national, global). The course aims to unpack how knowledge is produced, to what ends and for what types of audiences. The course also assesses how knowledge about environmental phenomena is contested. The course focuses on the interactions between knowledge production and policy. A range of thematic topics are covered, including climate change, biodiversity and natural resource management. Students examine the politics of environmental knowledge production through case studies on global assessments (e.g. IPCC and IPBES), national debates and local struggles.

The course consists of 10 x 1,5h lectures.

According to the requirements above.

Course reader compiled of relevant articles.

E.g. some of the following:

  • Turnhout, E., Dewulf, A., & Hulme, M. (2016). What does policy-relevant global environmental knowledge do? The cases of climate and biodiversity. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 18, 65-72.
  • Lövbrand, E., Beck, S., Chilvers, J., Forsyth, T., Hedrén, J., Hulme, M., ... & Vasileiadou, E. (2015). Who speaks for the future of Earth? How critical social science can extend the conversation on the Anthropocene. Global Environmental Change, 32, 211-218.
  • (selections of) Edwards, P. N. (2010). A vast machine: Computer models, climate data, and the politics of global warming. Mit Press.
  • S. L. Star and J. R. Griesemer, “Institutional Ecology, ‘Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39,” Social Studies of Science 19(3): 387-420 (1989).
  • B. Wynne, “Misunderstood Misunderstandings: Social Identities and Public Uptake of Science,” in A. Irwin and B. Wynne, eds., Misunderstanding Science? The Public Reconstruction of Science and Technology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 19-46.
  • Participation in lectures
  • Course readings + pre-assignments in Moodle, (20%)
  • Course essay (max 2500 words), (80%)

The pre-assignments in Moodle will be graded based on completion. The students are required to post questions/commentaries on Moodle prior to the lectures for 8/10 lectures.

The essay is graded on a scale from 1-5 based on criteria presented at the beginning of the course, including: clarity and justification of argument, scope and content; use of relevant literature; style and presentation.

Kamilla Karhunmaa, Nina Janasik