Center for International Science and Technology Policy

Courses by CISTP faculty

Summer 2014 Offerings:

IAFF 6158.10 Technology, Innovation & International Economic Competitiveness
Professor Nicholas S. Vonortas
» Download the syllabus

Technological competence and innovation have become central to the efforts of countries around the world to raise their international competitiveness, improve economic performance, and raise standards of living.  This course appraises the relationship between technological and innovative competence on the one hand and economic competitiveness on the other.  It investigates a number of characteristics of the current international environment that affect the technological competence of firms and nations alike.  It also examines conflicts of interest between governments as well as between governments and firms concerning the appropriateness (and fairness) of the established environment for the support, use, management and regulation of scientific and technological advancements that, in turn, critically affect the promotion of innovative capabilities.

Policy making for international economic competition has become especially demanding.  The diffusion of centers of technological excellence around the world and the progressive convergence of local markets in terms of consumer tastes and preferences have obliged actors to adopt a more global outlook: not only do firms compete internationally, but they also depend on each other’s technological, organizational, financial, and marketing strengths to stay afloat.  In this course we examine a number of important characteristics of the new international context that are currently related to the technological competence of firms and nations.

IAFF 6158.11 Science, Technology and International Development
Professor Rachel Parker
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Scientific and technological developments have had a broad range of positive as well as negative impacts, globally. Considering the challenges faced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the governments of low- and middle-income countries (and their Western counterparts), we will address the need for science, technology, and innovation-led (STI) development. The course investigates the various actors working in the international development industry including those working at the national level such as USAID, and at the international level such as the World Bank and NGOs. We will reflect on how these actors position science and technology vis-a-vis development programs in order to understand the role of technology in development. Through investigating STI-led development from a theoretical and applied perspective, we will evaluate and compare science and technology (S&T) and development policies and related programs. The comparisons between theory and practice that we examine through this course will help to provide historical context to understand how and why some contemporary STI-led development efforts have worked while others have failed.


IAFF 6503.25 Issues in U.S. Space Policy - Geospatial Law and Policy
Professor Kevin Pomfret
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Spatial data (data that places a person or object at a particular place) is now commonplace as a result of technologies such as navigation devices, GPS-enabled phones, web-based mapping services, location-based services, commercial satellite imagery and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. As a result, governments, businesses and consumers have embraced spatial (or location) data in their daily operations. Unfortunately, the legal and policy communities have not kept pace with the proliferation of this technology. Therefore, IT and telecommunication companies, internet commerce and social networking businesses, government contractors, law enforcement and a wide range of other government agencies are looking for help in understanding how to collect, use and distribute spatial data for operational purposes.

In this course, students will learn the important legal and policy issues associated with the collection, use and distribution of spatial data. Through discussion of important cases and differing viewpoints on important policy matters, we will explore some unique attributes of spatial data, the relationship of data quality and potential liability, the concept of privacy from a location standpoint, and potential national security concerns. We will also consider issues of licensing or transferring spatial data, including intellectual property rights, representations and warranties, and metadata.


PPPA 6085.20  Science and U.S. Politics
Professor Jeff Williams

This course centers on two related questions: What is the role of science in US policymaking, and what is the role of policymaking in the conduct of science? Intersections of science and American political and civil institutions and ideas will be analyzed through the lens of Public Policy and Public Administration theory and practice. Additional literature will include philosophical discussions of what exactly defines science, and what is its appropriate role in a pluralistic democracy. Hot-button issues like stem cells and climate change will be examined, but not as a focus. Instead, ideas such as the power of the purse, the organizational structure of agencies, and society’s varying expectations of the role of science will be discussed to highlight the complexities of what many people consider to be a straightforward area of study. There will also be a detailed investigation of the structural elements of scientific research at the federal level, including an examination of the agencies that perform or fund scientific research, as well as an examination of why some science is not performed by the federal government. Students should come away from this course with a deeper understanding of the intricate inter-relationship of science and the U.S. political system at the federal level.

 

Fall 2014 Offerings

IAFF 6141 International Science and Technology Policy Cornerstone Seminar
Professor Nicholas S. Vonortas
» Download the syllabus

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the policy issues related to the support, use, management, and regulation of science and technology. It addresses U.S. domestic as well as international issues, is concerned with governmental policies as well as non-governmental, and it is focused on both the economics and politics of science and technology issues.

In today's world, scientific discoveries and technological innovations influence almost every aspect of human existence. The effects of many of these innovations innovations influence almost every aspect of human existence. Many changes induced by these innovations have been extremely positive, bringing advances in health, communications, material wealth, and quality of life. At the same time, science and technology have helped create apparently intractable problems, including new risks to human health, pollution of the natural environment, and the existence of weapons capable of mass destruction. Given all these impacts, making effective and fair decisions regarding technologically complex issues is one of the most challenging tasks of modern governance.

Especially demanding is policy-making for international economic competition, which is increasingly defined in terms of technological competence. The diffusion of centers of technological excellence around the world and the progressive convergence of local markets in terms of consumer tastes and preferences have obliged economic agents to adopt a global outlook; not only do firms compete internationally but they also depend upon each other's technological, financial, and marking strengths to stay afloat. In this course we examine a number of important characteristics of the new international environment that are directly related to the technological competence of firms and of nations as well.


IAFF 6158.11 Science, Technology, and Energy Policy
Professor Joel Hicks

This course focuses on the international dimensions of energy policy-making and implementation. It is structured around the three sets of issues: technological innovation, national security, and environmental protection. Throughout the course, and integrating theme is the role played by science and technology.

The learning objectives for the course are focused on enabling each student to synthesize a range of quite complicated readings drawing on multiple disciplines and having a wide range of policy implications. Similarly, students should be able to integrate analyses from a broad range of national governments, firms, and other key actors.


IAFF 6158.12 IT Policy
Professor David Grier

Link to Professor Grier's podcast on the course. (Video)


ECON 6255 Economics of Technological Change
Professor Nicholas S. Vonortas

This course provides an overview of important issues related to technological change that have interested economists up to the present time. Reflecting the general orientation of mainstream economic analysis, the material is somewhat biased towards the spread of new technology and the economic impact of new technology. The specific assumptions and methodologies of mainstream analysis have, however, drawn considerable criticism more recently. Our exposition will also cover such criticism and, thus, expand to the appraisal of the sources of new technology. The overall purpose of the course is to assess the prevalent economic conceptualization of the origins and sources of new technology, the way innovation proceeds and diffuses across economic agents, and both the economic benefits and costs of the application of new technology.


IAFF 6145 U.S. Space Policy
Professor Scott Pace

This course is an examination of the origins, evolution, current status, and future prospects of U.S. space policies and programs. It will cover the U.S. government's civilian, military, and national security space programs and the space activities of the U.S. private sector, and the interactions among these four sectors of U.S. space activity. This examination will be cast in the context of the space activities of other countries, and of international cooperation and competition in space. The goal of the course is to give the student an expos re to the policy debates and decisions that have shaped U.S. efforts in space to date, and to the policy issues that must be addressed in order to determine the future goals, content, pace, and organization of U.S. space activities, both public and private.


IAFF 6158.10 Space and National Security
Professor Peter Hays

As shown by military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, space capabilities have become increasingly important to the U.S. military in recent years. The many broad interrelationships between space and national security have also been under careful examination both domestically and internationally. The 2001 Space Commission Report, for example, found that because U.S. military and economic security has become so dependent on undefended space assets, the nation could face a "space Pearl Harbor." Others argue that the United States should act to establish space control, defined as U.S. ability to access and use space in its interests and to deny such access to U.S. adversaries. In addition, there is a growing debate over the wisdom and feasibility of stationing force application systems - "space weapons" - in orbit. The course uses seminars, short writing assignments, and a focused research paper to examine these and other issues associated with U.S. strategy, policy, and organization for the national security uses of space.


IAFF 6158.11 Science, Technology and International Development
Professor Rachel Parker
Scientific and technological developments have had a broad range of positive as well as negative impacts, globally. Considering the challenges faced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the governments of low- and middle-income countries (and their Western counterparts), we will address the need for science, technology, and innovation-led (STI) development. The course investigates the various actors working in the international development industry including those working at the national level such as USAID, and at the international level such as the World Bank and NGOs. We will reflect on how these actors position science and technology vis-a-vis development programs in order to understand the role of technology in development. Through investigating STI-led development from a theoretical and applied perspective, we will evaluate and compare science and technology (S&T) and development policies and related programs. The comparisons between theory and practice that we examine through this course will help to provide historical context to understand how and why some contemporary STI-led development efforts have worked while others have failed.


Spring 2015 Offerings

IAFF 6158.10 Issues in U.S. Space Policy - Tools and Scenarios
Professor Scott Pace
This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and places them in the larger context of technological advances and a changing international strategic environment. The course will address current regulatory issues facing U.S. space programs with regard to dual-use technologies, including export controls, spectrum management, and licensing of commercial remote sensing systems. Conflicts over dual-use technologies, such as space launch, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and communications, will be examined for their implications for a range of national interests. The course will also address strategic choices facing other nations in space activities, including continued dependence on U.S., European, and Russian space capabilities, developing indigenous space programs, and reliance on commercial space capabilities.

The class will apply the insights gained from the discussion and readings to a class exercise that examines the contributions of spacepower to a future China/Taiwan Straits scenario (~2020-2025). Using a team approach where students represent space advisors to national security decision-makers and military commanders, the class will examine the employment and contribution of space capabilities in assessing unfolding events involving the national interests of China, India, Japan, and the United States. The scenario will take place in the context of the Global Exploration Strategy (GES) and return to the Moon, and evolving Chinese and Japanese space capabilities. It will be played during two or three class sessions in addition to preparation time and post-game assessment time.


IAFF 6142 Technology Creation/Diffusion
Professor Nicholas S. Vonortas

The purpose of this course is to examine the factors that underlie the creation of new technologies and their diffusion throughout the economy. The discussion will cover issues of interest to new technology producers and/or users in the private business sector, universities and government. Although the main focus will be the prevailing environment in developed market economies, developing countries will be dealt with to some extent. We will examine in some depth important recent global developments in technology creation and dissemination and their historical overlaps. And, of course, we will address the implications for policy.


IAFF 6159 ISTP Capstone: Multidisciplinary Seminar in Science, Technology, and Global Affairs
Professor David Grier
This is the capstone course for majors in the M.A. Degree in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. It integrates previous coursework in a flexible format combining the writing of focused policy papers, role playing, simulations, and other relevant exercises and experiences. In addition, the course features a final exam that has the objective of allowing each student to synthesize the literature in the field. Drawing upon the writings of both practitioners and theorists in the U.S. and abroad, the course focuses on ways to redesign U.S. science and technology institutions and organizations, so that they are more interconnected and capable of engaging in more effective knowledge creation, diffusion, and utilization.


IAFF 6158.12 International Issues in Energy
Professor Joel Hicks
This course focuses on the patterns of international energy policy-making, implementation and change. It is organized around historical patterns, the current issues, and future prospects. An integrating theme is the role played by science and technology.


IAFF 6158.11 Cyber Security
Professor Henry Farrell
Many of the key policy debates surrounding the application of technology seek to strike a balance between privacy and security. In such diverse areas as the proposed collection and analysis by government of databases (the CAPPS II initiative and moribund Total Information Awareness Initiative), new tools for law enforcement authorities (data traffic preservation), the creation of effective and privacy-preserving voting machines and new technologies such as Google's Gmail service, there are continuing controversies over the extent to which individuals should have privacy, and the extent to which their information may be used for commercial or law enforcement purposes. In this seminar class, we will discuss these issues, beginning with a broad overview of the general issues, and moving onto specific examination of how this debate is playing out in different policy areas.


IAFF 6146 Space Law
Professor Henry R. Hertzfeld
Space activities, by the nature of their unique characteristics, operate in an international and global environment. Nearly 50 years have elapsed since beginning of human activity in space. A body of law has evolved that deals with space activity. The foundations of these international legal principles are found in five treaties developed within the framework of the United Nations during the late 1960s. They reflect the governmental nature of space programs of that era. Many nations participating in space activities also have domestic laws that regulate and administer the activities of their citizens who now participate in the growing commercial environment of space.

This course will review the underlying principles of international space law. The emphasis will be on issues that will be of concern in the future as space activity moves into the commercial world. However, many technologies and uses of space may encounter conflicts between civil and defense concerns. Such legal issues include liability for accidents, registration of space objects, non-proliferation, and transparency. The course will also review domestic (primarily U.S.) space law and the many regulatory agencies that are involved in licensing and approving commercial space activities.

Finally, looking a bit further into the future, there are numerous legal uncertainties that must be resolved to lower investment risks if private space activities are to be funded, built, and operated. These issues include: the relationship between air law and space law, space traffic control, environmental concerns, licensing and financial responsibility, and international over-flight and landing considerations.


IAFF 6153 Science, Technology and National Security
Professor Peter Hays
This course will examine the effect of globalization and international economic integration on defense industries. It will review the links between national economies, military power and security; consider how globalization affects these links; assess differing national policies for technology and innovation, and consider the relationship between economic and military strength. The course will include discussion of technology transfer, licit and illicit, and the changing nature of defense industries and military power. The context for the class will be competition and the pursuit of strategic advantage among nations.


EHS 6227 Introduction to Human Health in Aerospace
Dr. Kris Lehnhardt

This course is taught through the Medical School and is designed to introduce aerospace medicine concepts in an interdisciplinary fashion to anyone who is interested in human spaceflight. There will be elements of physiology, medicine, law, policy, engineering, and history incorporated into the course. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

-Outline the effects of spaceflight on human physiology and the medical issues that may arise during space travel,
-Compare and contrast daily life on Earth with living and working in space,
-Critically analyze the impact of both long duration and long distance spaceflight on human health,
-Evaluate the medical requirements for commercial space endeavors,

-Analyze the increasingly interdisciplinary and international nature of human spaceflight.

» Student Perspective on the Capstone

Of Note

CISTP Professor David Alan Grier at Consumer Electronics Show 2014

Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund elected President of Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Recent Events

STGlobal Conference 2014
April 4-5, 2014

"Challenges Facing the Department of Energy: Stockpile Stewardship and Nuclear Modernization" with Dr. Parney Albright, Direcor (2009-2013) of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
March 24, 2014

"Policy Challenges in Biomedical Research" with Dr. Kathy Hudson, Deputy Director of NIH for Science, Outreach and Policy
February 19, 2014

"Labor Standards for High Technology: Comparative Experience of China and India"with Professor David Alan Grier
February 18, 2014

"Driving Technological Surprise: An Enduring Mission in a Changing World" with Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of DARPA
October 15, 2013
» Watch the video

"Increasing Diversity in the STEM Workforce" with Dr. Maria Klawe
May 1, 2013

"Risk and Resilience: Moving from Fear to Confidence" with Amb. Richard LeBaron
April 24, 2013

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Contact Us

Phone: 202.994.7292
Fax: 202.994.1639
Email: cistp@gwu.edu

Address:
Center for International Science and Technology Policy
1957 E Street, N.W., Suite 403
Washington, D.C. 20052