Spring 2023 - CMNS 446 OL01

Communication, Science and Technology (4)

Class Number: 7852

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    75 units, including CMNS 346 with a minimum grade of C-; and one of CMNS 201W (201 or 260), CMNS 202 (or 262) or CMNS 261, with a minimum grade of C-. Recommended: CMNS 253 (or 253W) and CMNS 362.



Explores the relationship between power, politics, and science; investigates stakeholders such as scientists, entrepreneurs, technologists, activists, policy-makers and their world-wide institutional contexts; compares global flows of science and technology through governmental, non-government, and transnational organizations; examines representations of science and technology in media systems and international development programs.


This course provides a critical introduction to the field of Science & Technology Studies, examining the intersection of technology, knowledge, power, and society, with particular attention to cases and theories relevant to the study of communication and media. By tackling the questions “What is a scientific revolution?”, “What is modern science and what is its relation to colonialism and capitalism?”, “Who in society benefits and who is harmed by the rapid development of modern science and technology?”, the course will put Science & Technology Studies in conversation with theories of globalization, labour and development. Drawing upon the fields of anthropology, sociology, geography, and cultural studies, this course will investigate modern developments in international relations, institutional compositions, cultural constructions, and urban planning in order to explore the opportunities for justice within pre-existing and emergent global regimes and technological systems.

For the Spring 2023 semester, CMNS 446 will be held online as a synchronous seminar via Zoom.

The course is organized as one 3-hour seminar per week. It is expected that students attend every seminar and come prepared having read all assigned readings and viewed all assigned viewables. The seminar will be divided up between a short interactive lecture, a discussion of the weeks materials, and a brief screening. Participation in course discussions is essential for success in this course.


  • Attendance and Participation 20%
  • Paper Proposal 10%
  • Outline and Bibliography 10%
  • Project Presentation 20%
  • Final Paper 40%


Course meetings will be held synchronously on Zoom. Please plan to arrive on time and having read all assigned materials for the week.


Unless otherwise instructed, all assignments will be submitted on Canvas by 11:59pm on the day indicated on the syllabus. Late submissions will be penalized 10% per calendar day. Assignments will not be accepted after 2 weeks past the due date. If you need an extension on an assignment, consult with the instructor at least a week before the original due date. Extensions will be granted on a case by case basis. Seminar participation and lab exercises cannot be made up.



All readings will be available digitally in the ‘files’ section on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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