Fall 2019 - POL 855 G100

Science, Technology and Public Policy (5)

Class Number: 9152

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3511, Burnaby



This writing-intensive undergraduate/graduate course is designed to examine one of the most pressing issues of our time- how to develop alternative energy sources in the face of climate change. The course starts with a historical perspective focusing on how we developed our petroleum-based economy. It then moves to a review of how energy policy frameworks operate in economic, political, and regulatory terms. The course is centered around helping students to learn how to write a policy memo, which is a standard document of analysis in the public, private, and non-profit arenas. The policy memo will develop an analysis of the feasibility of implementing an alternative energy source or policy grounded in BC or some other jurisdiction. You will also have the chance to learn how to do a basic applied statistical analysis using Excel. The policy memo will serve as a well-vetted and reviewed writing sample for students. The course is supplemented by site visits and guest speakers.  

There will be a four-hour seminar per week.

This class is combined with POL 452W.


  • Participation 10%
  • Peer review assignments 5%
  • Class presentation of research paper 10%
  • Debate preparation and participation, (5% oral, 5% written) 10%
  • Quizzes, from material discussed in previous week 10%
  • Policy memorandum, broken down into 5 stages 55%



All material will be available through article databases and reserve materials from the SFU library and energy policy organization websites.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html