The teaching project "Science. Facts. Context" at the
Technical University Braunschweig expands undergraduate
teaching in the life sciences on the perspectives of
Science-and-Technology-Studies (STS) and Gender Studies.
The societal context of research is of growing importance for scientists in the life sciences. Mechanisms of knowledge production are highly relevant, as the contemporary debates on fake news and post-truth have consistently shown. Students are engaged in questions regarding meaning, responsibility and applicability of science and technology, but they often feel overwhelmed or left alone with this pressing issue. The aim of the interdisciplinary project is to expand factual knowledge on questions of knowledge production in the societal context. To this end, the compulsory course 'basics of genetics'
will be extended to integrate the perspectives of Science-and-Technology-Studies and Gender Studies in terms of content and didactics permanently. The teaching project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. André Fleißner (genetics) and Prof.in Dr.-Ing. Corinna Bath (Gender Studies) will allow students from the beginning of their studies to recognize that factual knowledge is not only made within science but is also the result of societal, political, cultural and other processes. In other words, students are supposed to be sensitized to perceive science in context. Besides factual knowledge, they acquire the competence to combine subject expertise with reflective competence to identify and assess contextual preconditions and societal consequences of scientific findings. The students will skilled to reflect on their own actions in the course of their studies and their career later on - and ultimately to act in a societally responsible manner. This is a requirement in the life sciences of continuously growing importance, but has not sufficiently been implemented in the curriculum yet.
The teaching project at the Institute of Genetics (https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/ifg) and the Maria-Goeppert-Mayer Professorship for Gender, Technology and Mobility at the Technical University Braunschweig is funded in the framework of the innovation program "Good Teaching" by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a volume of 74.500 Euro from 1.10.2017 to 30.9.2018. The innovation program "Good Teaching" is part of the BMBF-project "teach4TU" (project number: 01PL17043) and part of the Federal/Länder programme for better study conditionns and more quality in teaching. For more information: www.tu-braunschweig.de/teach4tu.