Law, Science and Technology - LAWS6000

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Emilie Cloatre checkmark-circle


The Law, Science and Technology module explores different ways of thinking about the connections between law, science, and technology. The Law, Science and Technology module is an interdisciplinary module that introduces students to several interrelated fields including law, socio-legal studies, Science and Technology Studies (STS), anthropology and sociology. The module will critically engage recent examples, using the literature to not only frame debates but to find ways of challenging the dominant paradigms through which the relationship between law and scientific knowledge tends to be understood. The module engages with key texts from differing traditions and specific examples (including public health regulations ; climate change, law and scientific expertise; the regulation of reproductive technologies; science in the courtroom; the use of technologies in legal decision-making; the role of law in shaping global health inequalities) to explore other possible ways of thinking about the relationship between law, science, and technology. Cross-cutting themes for the module will include: legal decision-making and scientific uncertainty; the role of expertise in legal decision-making; the interface between law, power and technoscience; notions of objectivity and truth both in law and science; global science, postcolonialism and global inequalities.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20
Private Study: 130
Total Study Hours: 150


All single and joint honours undergraduate law programmes - final year only module.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
The module will be assessed by 100% Coursework;
Coursework - Annotated bibliography (1500 words) - 20%
Coursework - Essay (3000 words) - 80%

Students must pass the essay assessment in order to pass the module overall.

Reassessment methods

Indicative reading

• Bora A. 2008. Scientific norms, legal facts, and the politics of knowledge. In Who Owns Knowledge? Knowledge and the Law, ed. N Stehr, B Weiler, pp. 67–86. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction
• Brownsword, Roger, Law, Technology and Society Reimagining the Regulatory Environment (Routledge, 2019)
• Callon, M., Lescoumes, P., and Barthe, Y. (2009) Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy, Cambridge: MIT Press.
• Caudill DS, LaRue LH. 2006. No Magic Wand: The Idealization of Science in Law. Lanham,MD: Rowman & Littlefield
• Cole S. 2017. Science, Technology, Society and Law. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 13 pp. 351-371
• Cole, Simon A., and Michael Lynch. 2006. "The Social and Legal Construction of Suspects." Annual Review of Law and Social Science 2 (1): 39–60.
• Harding S. 1998. Is Science Multicultural?: Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies. Indiana University Press.
• Jasanoff, S. (1997) Science at the Bar: Law, Science and Technology in America, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
• M'Charek, A., Hagendijck, R. and de Vries, W. (2013) 'Equal before the law: on the machinery of sameness in forensic DNA practice', Science, Technology, & Human Values, 38(4), 542-565.
• Pollock, A. and Subramaniam B. 2016. "Resisting Power, Retooling Justice: Promises of Feminist Postcolonial Technosciences." Science, Technology, & Human Values 41 (6): 951–66
• Pottage, Alain and M. Mundy (eds.), Law, anthropology and the constitution of the social: the making of persons and things (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of science and technology studies literature and its applicability to legal studies
2. Critically explore the epistemological basis of scientific and legal knowledge
3. Critically analyse the making of scientific and legal 'facts' in specific contexts
4. Demonstrate knowledge of the interface between science (and new technologies) and the law from a historical, socio-economic context
5. Critically evaluate current legal-scientific debates within historical, socio-economic contexts
6. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of key texts in science and technology studies.
7. Articulate a sound theoretical and practical understanding of key legal-scientific debates and issues.
8. Apply new critical methods in their understanding and evaluation of legal and scientific knowledge in specific situations.
9. Demonstrate an awareness of, and sensitivity to, the economic, political and/or social implications that arise from different understandings of how scientific and legal facts are constituted

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Research independently by taking into account a variety of sources of information.
2. Research efficiently using both legal and non-legal texts.
3. Critically engage with legal and non-legal sources.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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