Science in Perspective

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The study programme Science in Perspective (formerly compulsory elective courses) enables students at ETH Zurich to develop new perspectives on their core subjects’ scientific and technological issues. Thus, SiP enhances ETH Zurich’s curriculum and contributes to the university’s unique profile.

The study programme Science in Perspective opens up new perspectives on the natural and engineering sciences.

Open up new perspectives, understand different contexts, recognise relationships

Why do certain technologies prevail while others do not? Why do we invest too much money in outdated technology? How does the internet change our understanding of intellectual property? What do biologists mean when they talk about information? What is the meaning of truth in mathematics? How has modern ‘Western science’ spread throughout the world, and does it still remain ‘Western’ in a Japanese or Indian setting?

The study programme Science in Perspective is an integral part of the curriculum at ETH Zurich. It opens up new perspectives on the natural and engineering sciences, while addressing topics that might have been missed, or that might not have been explored in the core subject’s lecture courses due to lack of time. Through seminars and lectures, the historical, moral, epistemological, legal, economic and political contexts, without which science and technology would not be possible, will be examined. Students learn to understand and critically question the correlations between scientific knowledge, technological innovations, cultural contexts, individuals and society. They thus enhance their reflective competencies, while being prepared for the social and global developments of the future. With the study programme Science in Perspective, D-GESS is making an important contribution towards ETH Zurich’s Critical Thinking Initiative.

Further information can be found in the strategy paper on Science in Perspective (PDF, 43 KB)

Science in Perspective as part of the ETH curriculum

Each semester, the study programme Science in Perspective offers more than 100 classes to choose from – including language courses offered by the Language Centre of UZH and ETH Zurich, which help to prepare for study visits or work experience abroad.

During a degree course at ETH Zurich a total of eight credit points have to be earned in the area of Science in Perspective – six at bachelor’s and two at master’s level.

All SiP courses can be found in the course catalogue of ETH Zurich. The category “Type A: Fostering general reflection skills” lists all courses from the SiP programme. The category “Type B: Reflecting on subject-related methods and topics” highlights courses that are particularly suited to students of specific departments.

Here, students can access the results of teaching and exam evaluations

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