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60908 Science and Industrialisation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

The impact of science on economic growth and society is the major focus of this subject. Science has been intimately involved in the development and implementation of new technologies that have transformed the economics and lifestyles of citizens. The early adoption of new technology has often had a major impact on national and global economies. In this subject, there is an examination of several case studies that estimate the cost of a new development in terms of the background science that has been funded in order to establish a new product or process. The importance of mergers and acquisitions in certain industries, e.g. pharmaceuticals, are shown to be necessary to ensure a sufficient capital base for the huge investment in bringing new product to market. There are also case studies that show that development of new processes gave nations a considerable economic advantage for a time. A further issue is the legacy of old large-scale manufacturing processes that were environmentally damaging and the continuing impact that has on society.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Understand that science is a major economic driver in modern societies
2. Understand the impact of science on society and economics
3. Appreciate that science facilitates the development and adoption of new technologies
4. Understand that introduction of new technologies allows a competitive advantage
5. Appreciate the development costs of new products and processes
6. Understand that large-scale enterprises are necessary to ensure the capital base to fund new developments / research
7. Understand that older processes were often environmentally-damaging and that there is a legacy that needs to be managed.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The Faculty of Science has determined that our courses will aim to develop the following attributes in students at the completion of their course of study. Each subject will contribute to the development of these attributes in ways appropriate to the subject and the stage of progression, thus not all attributes are expected to be addressed in all subjects.

Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application: the disciplinary knowledge in this subject relates to science in industry and the impact of science on economics and society.

An Inquiry-oriented approach: this subject develops a deep understanding of the case studies that are used in exploring the relationships between science / industry / society. Capacity to source relevant information will be critical to success in this subject.

Professional skills and their appropriate application: professional skills that are further developed include a high capacity for critical thinking, soundness of judgment, and a superior level of comprehension.

The ability to be a Lifelong Learner: in exploring case studies in some depth, there will be opportunities for searching and retrieval of relevant material. This will enhance skills that students may have acquired as undergraduates.

Engagement with the needs of Society: this is a critical element of this subject. Understanding how science works leads to technological and lifestyle improvements is an important aim of this subject. Appreciating that unfettered industrialization is not desirable is also important – appropriate environmental checks-and-balances are needed.

Communication skills: in the subject there are many opportunities for communication in written, verbal and visual forms beyond the normal expectations for undergraduate students.

Initiative and innovative ability: as a postgraduate subject there is an increased expectation that students will take responsibility for their own learning. There is flexibility in negotiating the work that the students can undertake so that they can demonstrate innovation and initiative.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will be taught through study packages and a fortnightly meeting with the subject coordinator.

Content (topics)

  • The involvement of science in the development and implementation of new technologies that have transformed the economics and lifestyles of citizens.
  • The major impact on national and global economies associated with the adoption of new technology.
  • There will be an examination of several case studies that estimate the cost of a new development in terms of the background science that has been funded in order to establish a new product or process.
  • The importance of mergers and acquisitions in certain industries, eg pharmaceuticals, will be shown to be necessary to ensure a sufficient capital base for the huge investment in bringing new product to market.
  • A further issue is the legacy of old large-scale manufacturing processes that were environmentally damaging and the continuing impact that has on society.

Case Studies:

  • High-technology materials: rare earths
  • Large scale industrial chemical: sulfuric acid
  • Drug development (including economic analysis): Relenza®
  • Over-the-counter pharma: Aspirin
  • Petrochemical industry: synthetic textiles
  • Science-to-technology-to-society: the C19 Dyestuffs Industry
  • Scientific services: pathology labs

Assessment

Assessment task 1: The Economics of Science

Weight: 35%
Length: approximately 3000 words.
Criteria:

Demonstrated capacity for critical thinking. Demonstrated ability to read a text critically and extract the relevant information. Demonstrated capacity to sustain an argument based on evidence. Appropriate expression: including grammar, punctuation, spelling. Good referencing practices.

These assessment criteria relate directly to the following graduate attributes (please refer to list above for more detailed explication):
• Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application;
• An enquiry-based approach;
• Professional skills and their appropriate application;
• Engagement with the needs of Society;
• The ability to be a lifelong learner;
• Communication skills;
• Initiative and innovative ability.

Assessment task 2: In-depth exploration of a case study

Weight: 25%
Length: approximately 2000 words.
Criteria:

Demonstrated capacity for critical thinking. Demonstrated ability to read a text critically and extract the relevant information. Demonstrated capacity to sustain an argument based on evidence. Appropriate expression: including grammar, punctuation, spelling. Good referencing practices.

These assessment criteria relate directly to the following graduate attributes (please refer to list above for more detailed explication):
• Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application;
• An enquiry-based approach;
• Professional skills and their appropriate application;
• Engagement with the needs of Society;
• The ability to be a lifelong learner;
• Communication skills;
• Initiative and innovative ability.

Assessment task 3: On-line Posts

Weight: 40%
Length: Variable, depending on the task.
Criteria:

Evidence of ability to locate and retrieve relevant information; evidence of the capacity for reflection and planning; evidence of capacity to explore complex issues; evidence of understanding of major issues.

These assessment criteria relate directly to the following graduate attributes (please refer to list above for more detailed explication):
• Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application;
• Professional skills and their appropriate application;
• The ability to be a lifelong learner;
• Communication skills.

Minimum requirements

Any assessment task worth 40% or more requires the student to gain at least 40% of the mark for that task. If 40% is not reached, an X grade fail may be awarded for the subject, irrespective of an overall mark greater than 50.

All assessment items must be completed in order to achieve a passing grade in the subject.

Recommended texts

Readings will be provided and students will use the Library to research case studies for themselves.

References

A. Arora, R. Landau, N. Rosenberg, Chemicals and Long-Term Economic Growth, New York: Wiley Interscience, 1998.
P. Bamfield (ed), Research and Development Management in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry, 2nd edition, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2003.

F. Budde, G.A. Farha, H. Frankmölle, D.F. Hoffmeister, K. Kramers (eds), Value Creation: Strategies for the Chemical Industry, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2001.

A.D. Chandler, Jr., Shaping the Industrial Century, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

L. Galambos, T. Hikino, V. Zamagni, The Global Chemical Industry in the Age of the Petrochemical Revolution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

J.P. Murmann, Knowledge and Competitive Advantage, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

P.H. Spitz (ed), The Chemical Industry at the Millennium, Philadelphia: Chemical Heritage Press, 2003.