Undergraduate Course: Geography, Science, Civil Society (GEGR10120)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||A set of 'conceptual' lectures will begin the course. These will focus, for example, upon: Geography an integrated discipline?; upon theoretical connections between geography, the history of science and the idea of 'Cultural Competence'; upon the Public Understanding of Science and Geography; upon relevance and activism; upon the idea of interdisciplinarity; upon the notion of 'Grand Challenges'. From that, a series of linked lectures will address these issues in more 'grounded' context, drawing both upon current examples of key research questions and upon the research of teaching staff. A series of tutorials will give students the opportunity to develop insight into these examples and into related topics. Directed reading will be indicated. Suggestions for further reading will be made.
The course aims to provide final year Geography undergraduates with a coherent conceptual basis to their studies and a means through which they can use their own UG experiences to engage with the relationships between geography as a form of knowledge, the politics of geography's making, and the several publics with whom geography and geographers work. The course will provide a conceptual 'spine' to students' Year 4 studies and progression from the core Year 3 course 'Nature of Geographical Knowledge'. It is seen as essential that students, in the final year of their own development as geographers, are made aware of geography's making and reception as a form of knowledge, of contemporary 'big'. The course will draw upon the philosophy of social constructivism as a principal analytic frame.
This is an ideas-based core course in undergraduate geography, designed to provide insight into the social and political making of geography as a form of knowledge and to alert students to the conceptual models available for the interpretation, inter alia, of the categories 'Geography', 'Science', 'Policy', 'Politics of Knowledge', and 'Public'. The course will build upon students' exposure to conceptual ideas and to epistemological questions in Year 3 of the Geography Honours Programme (Nature of Geographical Knowledge) and allow them, in Year 4, to ally their own experiences as advanced undergraduates with the issues raised in the course.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Indication of satisfactory achievement of equivalent core or other courses in the degree programme(s) of their home institution.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 8,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Revision Session Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Written Exam: 70%, Course Work: 30%
Classwork; Degree coursework essay (1500 words (not including bibliography); Degree Examination
||There will be feedback after the tutorials on a weekly basis. There will be a final end-of-course session geared to overview of the course and to preparation of the examination.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Have knowledge of the connections between geography as a form of knowledge and the politics of knowledge making
- Have an understanding of conceptual and theoretical models used to interpret the connections between geography as a form of knowledge and its public
- Understand the differences between what scientists (geographers) say they do and what actually they do
- Understand the ways in which 'thinking geographically' is employed in meeting societal and global 'Grand 3 Challenges'
|The below references must be regarded as indicative.|
Agnew, J. A. and Livingstone, D. N. (eds.) (2011) The SAGE Handbook of Geographical Knowledge (London, SAGE) [This key text is available in EUML as an e.book];
Barry, A., and Born, G. (eds) (2013) Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (Routledge: London);
Golinski, J. (2005 edn.) Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press);
Hulme, M. (2008) 'Geographical work at the boundaries of climate change', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 33, 5-11;
Hulme, M. (2009) Why We Disagree About Climate Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press);
Jasanoff, S (ed) (2004) Designs on Nature: The Co-Production of Science and the Social Order
Pettenger, M (2007) The Social Construction of Climate Change (Aldershot: Ashgate);
Powell, R. (2007), 'Geographies of science: histories, localities, practises, futures,' Progress in Human Geography 33, 309-29;
Withers, C. W. J. (2010), Geography and Science in Britain 1831-1939: A Study of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Manchester: Manchester University Press);
Yearley, S. (2005), Making Sense of Science: Understanding the Social Study of Science (London,
Extensive use will be made of articles from academic periodicals and other by-part publications including 'Progress in Human Geography', 'Progress in Physical Geography', 'Dialogues in Geography', 'Social Studies of Science'.
Extensive use will be made of articles from academic periodicals and other by-part publications including Progress in Human Geography; Progress in Physical Geography; Dialogues in Geography; Social Studies of Science.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Successful completion of this course will develop skills in:
- The reasoned appraisal of claims that knowledge is socially and politically 'neutral';
- Critical reading, and clear thinking;
- Abstracting and synthesising information;
- The presentation of lucid, cogent, and justified arguments on a range of topics within Geography.
|Keywords||Geography,Politics,Publics,Epistemology,Understanding of Science
|Course organiser||Prof Charles Withers
Tel: (0131 6)50 2559
|Course secretary||Miss Sarah Mcallister
Tel: (0131 6)50 4917
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:04 am