Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2020

GESS Science in Perspective Information
Only the courses listed below will be recognized as "GESS Science in Perspective" courses.

Further below you will find courses under the category "Type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.

During the Bachelor’s degree Students should acquire at least 6 ECTS and during the Master’s degree 2 ECTS.

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Type B: Reflection About Subject-Specific Methods and Contents
Subject-specific courses: Recommended for bachelor students after their first-year examination and for all master- or doctoral students.

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the same course again.

All these courses are listed under the category “Typ A”, this means, every student can enroll in these courses.
D-ARCH
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
851-0732-03LIntellectual Property: An Introduction Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 180

Particularly suitable for students of D-ARCH, D-BIOL, D-CHAB, D-INFK, D-ITET, D-MAVT, D- MATL, D-MTEC.
W2 credits2VS. Bechtold, M. Schonger
AbstractThe course introduces students to the basics of the intellectual property system and of innovation policy. Areas covered include patent, copyright, trademark, design, know-how protection, open source, and technology transfer. The course looks at Swiss, European, U.S. and international law and uses examples from a broad range of technologies. Insights can be used in academia, industry or start-ups.
ObjectiveIntellectual property issues become more and more important in our society. In order to prepare students for their future challenges in research, industry or start-ups, this course introduces them to the foundations of the intellectual property system. The course covers patent, copyright, trademark, design, know-how protection, open source, and technology transfer law. It explains links to contract, antitrust, Internet, privacy and communications law where appropriate. While the introduction to these areas of the law is designed at a general level, examples and case studies come from various jurisdictions, including Switzerland, the European Union, the United States, and international law.

In addition, the course introduces students to the fundamentals of innovation policy. After exposing students to the economics of intellectual property protection, the course asks questions such as: Why do states grant property rights in inventions? Has the protection of intellectual property gone too far? How do advances in biotechnology and the Internet affect the intellectual property system? What is the relationship between open source, open access and intellectual property? What alternatives to intellectual property protection exist?

Knowing how the intellectual property system works and what kind of protection is available is useful for all students who are interested in working in academia, industry or in starting their own company. Exposing students to the advantages and disadvantages of the intellectual property system enables them to participate in the current policy discussions on intellectual property, innovation and technology law. The course will include practical examples and case studies as well as guest speakers from industry and private practice.
851-0252-08LEvidence-Based Design: Methods and Tools For Evaluating Architectural Design Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 40

Particularly suitable for students of D-ARCH
W3 credits2SM. Gath Morad, B. Emo Nax, C. Hölscher
AbstractStudents are taught a variety of evaluation methods to assess architectural design from the perspective of potential occupants. Students are given a theoretical background on evaluation in architecture as well as practical knowledge on evaluation methods such as virtual reality, agent-based simulations and space syntax analysis. This is a project-oriented course tailored for architecture students.
ObjectiveThe course aims to teach students how to evaluate architectural design projects from the perspective of potential occupants. The concept of evidence-based design is introduced through a design process applied to a specific case study. Students are given a theoretical background on the notion of evaluation in architecture and spatial cognition as well as practical knowledge on various evaluation methods such as virtual reality, agent-based simulations and space syntax analysis. The course covers a range of methods including virtual reality for architectural design and agent-based simulations as well as visibility analysis and network analysis. Students are expected to apply these methods to a case study of their choice or to example cases provided by the course team. For students taking a B-ARCH or M-ARCH degree, this can be a completed or ongoing design studio project. The course gives students the chance to implement the methods iteratively and explore how best to address the needs of the potential occupants during the design process.

The course is tailored for students studying for B-ARCH and M-ARCH degrees. As an alternative to obtaining D-GESS credit, architecture students can obtain course credit in "Vertiefungsfach" or "Wahlfach".
052-0518-20LTheory and Practice: System Theory and Utopian Thinking Information W2 credits2GC. Posthofen, A. Brandlhuber
AbstractFS20: Colloquium on epistemological and action theory aspects of system theory by Niklas Luhmann and subject philosophies, such as the judgment of Immanuel Kant.

Colloquia on epistemic basic research of communication / media (film, television) on the basis of reading / discussion of historical and contemporary philosophical, cultural scientific and sociological texts.
ObjectiveThe students gain insight into the spectrum of epistemological and perceptual theories, learn to read them and analyze and critique their respective requirements. From this work an object relationship model is developing in progress, which serves self-examination in the design process as well as the evaluation of architectural situations in general and in particular. The writing of "scientific diaries" in which the contents of the colloquium are combined with the everyday experience of the students in free form, trains the concentrated result-oriented thinking in general, as well as in architectural situations.The special form of the writing of the "scientific diary" leads abstract Theory together with the experience of the students and make the knowledge creatively available in their own way.
ContentFS20: Introduction to Systems Theory. "The lack of judgment is actually what is called stupidity." (Kant, K.d.r.V., B 173).
On the positive side, judgment is a prerequisite for utopian thinking. By contrast, systems are characterized by proprietary logics that have a conservative / system-preserving effect. Text passages by Aristoteles, Niklas Luhmann, Greta Thunberg and others are discussed and ask the question: "How do virtual futures affect the space for possibilities today?" It is also about the anthropocene discourse.

In general: Philosophical exercises on subject / object relationships in general and in architectural situations in particular with special consideration of their mediation through time-based media. The two human fortune theory as cognition and practice as action spring from both original intentionality that controls all consciousness of the world. Our world relationship is intentional. Architectural situations in general and in particular are characterized by their intentionality, both for their planners and their users. Intentions and authorship in a complex, relational architectural and urban reality are examined and productively criticized with the help of knowledge from the reading of philosophical, cultural scientific and sociological texts. In the discussion of texts, concepts are developed as tools for the analysis of architectural situations. The epistemological and action-theoretical insights are used for the design work with time-based media such as film and television and their reflection. In the "scientific diaries", the theoretical insights from the colloquium are related to students' own everyday experiences and reviewed.
Lecture notesHand out at the first meeting.
LiteratureAs part of the script — hand-out at the first meeting.
851-0107-00LScience and the Public: A Problem of Mediation that the Media Have to Solve? Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2SU. J. Wenzel
AbstractWhat can, what should, what do "laymen" want to know and understand from scientific findings? How and what is "conveyed" in reporting on science? Does science journalism have to follow scientific criteria? How do the natural sciences differ from the humanities and social sciences in terms of "comprehensibility" and public visibility?
ObjectiveGaining insights into the relationship between the sciences, the public and the media, into their historical development and current problems - with particular reference to the "Wissenschaftsfeuilleton".
ContentThe feuilleton of the «Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung» of 27 June 2000 has gone down in the annals of recent media history. The last sequences of the fully mapped human genetic code were printed on six large-format pages: the letters A, G, C and T in various combinations and sequences - a «readable » but incomprehensible jumble of letters. What at the time was astounding journalistic coup and met with enthusiasm as well as head shaking can (also) be read as an allegory of the tense relationship between science and the public. What can, what should, what do «laymen» want to know and understand from scientific findings? What role do the media play, does science journalism play in this? How and what is «conveyed» in reporting on scientific findings? And does science journalism have to follow scientific criteria in such reporting? How do the natural sciences, medicine and technology differ from the humanities and social sciences in terms of «comprehensibility» and public awareness? Are we really dealing with two diverging «science cultures» - and two different ways of presenting them in the media?
These questions will be explored on some excursions into recent and also older media, scientific and cultural history.
851-0006-00LWater in the Early Modern Period: A Material and Environmental History Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2ST. Asmussen
AbstractThe seminar deals with questions of how water was perceived, used and appropriated in medieval and early modern societies. We examine water as a livelihood (drinking water, irrigation resource), energy source, transport medium, infrastructure and threat between 1400 and 1800.
ObjectiveThe students acquire historical knowledge of how pre-modern societies appropriated the natural substance water and how they themselves were formed and changed by the interactions with the liquid element. Students are expected to read original German, French and English sources.
ContentThe seminar examines the history of the substance and uses of water from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century. Using text and image sources, we will examine the physical, cultural, economic and scientific-technical implications of the relationship between man and water in plenary sessions and groups.
We deal with (al-)chemical analyses of water in the context of medical treatises and spas, the expansion and challenges of the water infrastructure ( fountains, sewage canals, irrigation canals, inland waterways), the associated changes of landscapes as well as with water as a threat (floods).
851-0109-00LPublic Images of ScienceW3 credits2VM. Bucchi
AbstractThe course will analize in a historical and sociological approach the public images of science and scientists and their major changes.
ObjectiveIn particular, we will explore the following subjects: the role of the visual element in the communication of science and its public representation; the role of ‘visible scientists’, with particular consideration of Nobel Prize winners; events and affairs that have shaped the public perception of science and the relationship between science and society.
ContentThe course will analize in a historical and sociological approach the public images of science and scientists and their major changes.
In particular, we will explore the following subjects: the role of the visual element in the communication of science and its public representation; the role of ‘visible scientists’, with particular consideration of Nobel Prize winners; events and affairs that have shaped the public perception of science and the relationship between science and society.
Various examples will be quoted and discussed, and will illustrate the Italian science and its relationship to society and to the various cultural fields (literature, visual arts, gastronomy), with particular reference to the period from the second half of the 19th century until the end of the 20th century.
851-0609-04LThe Energy Challenge - The Role of Technology, Business and Society Information
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge in economics.
W2 credits2VR. Schubert, T. Schmidt, B. Steffen
AbstractIn recent years, energy security, risks, access and availability are important issues. Strongly redirecting and accelerating technological change on a sustainable low-carbon path is essential. The transformation of current energy systems into sustainable ones is not only a question of technology but also of the goals and influences of important actors like business, politics and society.
ObjectiveIn this course different options of sustainable energy systems like fossile energies, nuclear energy or all sorts of renewable energies are explained and discussed. The students should be able to understand and identify advantages and disadvantages of the different technological options and discuss their relevance in the business as well as in the societal context.
Lecture notesMaterials will be made available on the electronic learning platform: www.vwl.ethz.ch
LiteratureMaterials will be made available on the electronic learning platform: www.vwl.ethz.ch
Prerequisites / NoticeVarious lectures from different disciplines.
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