Engineering, Science, and Society

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Whether one looks to regenerative medicine, which seeks to defy death by enabling damaged tissues to be re-grown, or to NASA missions that aim not only to explore our own solar system but even to probe beyond our galaxy, or to the mysteries and promise of research at the nano-level, the benefits and excitement of modern technology are unmistakable. Alas, examples of its potential for harm are also haunting and are no longer limited to the risk of nuclear annihilation.

Two thousand years before the birth of modern science, Socrates argued that the person who was best equipped to cure a disease was also most capable of spreading one, and so began a conversation still under way: How can the increasingly vast powers of science be guided toward the solution of human problems and kept from aggravating them?

Certificate Description

After a cornerstone course that explores this philosophical question (and others related to it), the Certificate in Engineering, Science, and Society leads students into courses that will help them to become engaged with contemporary issues regarding the promotion, use, and possible risks of engineering and applied science.

What are, for example, the likely benefits and risks of genetic engineering? How can engineering advances help to resist tendencies toward world-wide environmental degradation? What role should engineers play in the formulation of the policies that will govern the relationship between science and contemporary American society?

These are the sort of questions that will be pursued in the five courses required to complete the certificate.


The certificate is directed by Paul Diduch, instructor in the Herbst Program of Humanities for Engineers.


To begin the certificate, students must:

  • Be in good standing in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and
  • Complete a certificate enrollment with Paul Diduch of the Herbst Program of Humanities.

Curriculum Requirements

To complete the certificate, students must:

  • Complete the cornerstone course, HUEN 2210, with a minimum grade of C+;
  • Complete four other approved courses (see below), with a minimum grade of C+;
  • Complete at least one of these courses at the 3000-level or above; and
  • Submit a certificate completion form to the director.

Any student who has completed the specified five courses approved for this certificate but has not received a minimum grade of C+ in each course will still receive credit for these courses as H&SS electives.

Approved Courses

The list of courses approved for the certificate is provided below. It includes both lower-division and upper-division courses. The list will be reviewed and updated periodically.

  • HUEN 1850: Engineering in History: The Social Impact of Technology
  • HUEN xxxx: A Global State of Mind
  • HUEN 2020: Meaning of Information Technology
  • HUEN 2100: The History of Science & Technology from Ancient Times to Newton
  • HUEN 2120: The History of Modern Science, from Newton to Einstein
  • HUEN 2130: The History of Modern Technology, from Steam to Atomic Power
  • HUEN 3xxx: Ethics of Bioengineering
  • HUEN 3843: Meaning & Morality After Darwin
  • ASEN 3046: Introduction to Humans in Aviation
  • ATLS 2000: Meaning of Information Technology
  • GEEN 1100: Social Impact of Technology
  • GEEN 3300: Sustainability Ethics and Practice
  • CHEN 1000: Creative Technology
  • CVEN 4700: Sustainability & the Built Environment
  • CVEN 5373: Water Law, Policy, & Institutions
  • CVEN 5393: Water Resources System and Management
  • TLEN 5120: Telecom. Policy: Historical Perspectives
  • ANTH 4500: Cross-cultural Aspects of Socioeconomic Dev.
  • ANTH 4600: Human Ecology: Cultural Aspects
  • ASTR 4800: Space Science: Practice and Policy
  • ATOC 4800: Policy Implications of Climate Controversies
  • BAKR 1600: Creating a Sustainable Future
  • COMM 1210: Perspectives on Human Communication
  • EBIO 3040: Conservation Biology
  • EBIO 3180: Global Ecology
  • EBIO 4180: Ecological Perspectives on Climate Change
  • ECON 3535/4535: Natural Resource Economics
  • ECON 3545/4545: Environmental Economics
  • ENVD 2001: Human Behavior in Design and Planning
  • ENVD 3114: History & Theory of Environmtl Design: Buildings
  • ENVS 1000: Intro to Environmental Studies
  • ENVS 3140: Environmental Ethics
  • ENVS 3621: Energy Policy and Society
  • ENVS 5000: Policy, Science, & the Environment
  • ENVS 5810: Water Resources & Environmental Sustainability
  • ENVS 5820: Renewable Energy Policy
  • GEOG 3412: Conservation Practice & Resource Management
  • GEOG 3422: Political Ecology
  • GEOG 3682: Geography of International Development
  • GEOG 4430: Conservation Trends
  • GEOG 4501: Water Resources & Water Mgmt of Western US
  • GEOG 5772: Sustainable Development: Institutions & Policy
  • GEOL 3500: Earth Resources and the Environment
  • GEOL/ENVS 3520: Energy & Climate Change
  • GEOL 4080: Societal Problems & Earth Sciences
  • HIST 4267: U.S. Mining West
  • HIST 4326: Health & Disease in U.S. History
  • HIST 4417: Environmental History of North America
  • PHIL 1160: Introduction to Bioethics
  • PHIL 1400: Philosophy and the Sciences
  • PHIL 3140: Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 3160: Bioethics
  • PHIL 3200: Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 5210: Philosophy and Social Policy
  • PHIL 5230: Bioethics and Public Policy
  • PHIL 5240: Seminar in Environmental Philosophy
  • PHYS 3000: Science and Public Policy
  • PHYS/ENVS 3070: Energy and the Environment
  • PSCI 3064: Environmental Political Theory
  • PSCI 3201: The Environment & Public Policy
  • PSCI 4012: Global Development
  • PSCI 5016: Introduction to the Policy Sciences
  • SOCY 1002: Global Human Ecology
  • SOCY 1003: Ethics & Social Issues in US Health & Medicine
  • SOCY 2077: Environment and Society
  • SOCY 4007: Global Human Ecology
  • SOCY 6007: Foundations of Environmental Sociology

More Information

For more information, contact Paul Diduch at 303-492-0840 or email

Important Announcements

CUEngineering A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2015 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

Engineering Recognition Ceremony to be held at 9am at Macky Auditorium, Friday December 18, 2015


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