Society, science and technology


credits 5
lecturer doc. Ing. Ji Vacek, Ph.D.
office HJ 211
phone/mobile 377633204 / 724003943
department KPM - Business Administration and Management
lectures and seminars HJ 210, Monday 13:00 - 15:35
consultations Monday, 10:00 - 11:30, HJ 211 (please, send an e-mail with request for consultation)


First lesson: Monday, Sep. 27

Revision Lesson: Dec. 6

Final test: Dec. 13

Examples of students projects



Course objectives:

Introduce students to



Submit term paper (approx. 10 pages), prepare presentation and deliver it to the class at the seminar (15 min.).

You can work in small groups (2-3 people).

Pass the written test.

Test grading




1. Introduction: course objectives and contents, requirements (Sep. 27)

2. Basic concepts  (Oct. 4)
Systematics of human knowledge: science, technique, technology
Basic features of science: scientific method, ideals of science
Basic and applied research. Scientific logic
Standard model of science, necessity of control
Integrity and ethics of science, truth and beauty
Observation and experiment in social sciences, science and common sense
Technical creativity and creative thinking. divergent and convergent thinking
Civilization waves, knowledge society
Additional reading (Oct. 11 - no lesson, lecturer abroad at the project meeting)
3. Applications of science and technology  (Oct. 18, Oct. 25)
GPS, telecommunications, hypercar, biotechnology cryptography, nanotechnology
Impact of science and technology on society and vice versa

4. Information society, Internet  (Nov. 1)
Information society - current state and perspectives, EU programmes.
Information as a production factor
Information resources
Some consequences of internet penetration on economics and society.
Internet history, presence and future. Who owns and control Internet
Communication services - synchronous and asynchronous
Internet as an information resource.
Internet and market - e-business, e-commerce
Internet, intranet and extranet
5. Systems, models, systems engineering (Nov. 8)
Basic concepts of the theory of systems.
System as a black box, feedback
Systems engineering
6. Research and  development (R&D) (Nov. 15)
Introduction, history
Research institutions
Role of government
R&D management, project management and scheduling
R&D in the EU and in the Czech Republic
EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard
7. R&D, innovation and knowledge management (Nov. 22)
Innovation cycle
Innovation types
Disruptive innovation
Knowledge, intellectual capital, intellectual property rights
8. Global problems (Nov. 29)
Limits to growth, sustainable development
Technological progress, technological risks
Energy and economic development
Energy resources: fossil, nuclear, alternative

Bjorn Lomborg: The Sceptical Environmentalist - lecture and presentation:

9. Revision lesson (Dec. 6)

10. Final test, conclusions, evaluation (Dec. 13)

Term paper presentations: any lesson during the semester


Recommended reading and possible inspiration for term papers and presentations:

TEKES - the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation,

FINNSIGHT 2015 - The Outlook for Science, Technology and Society,

R. Florida. I. Tinagli: Europe in  the Creative Age,

The Millenium Project,   

MIT Technology Review,

The Economist - Technology Quarterly,

Engines of our Ingenuity:

To the class 2006 discussion about the links between religion and development:

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,




Created by: Jiri Vacek

Last change: Sep 2, 2010