MN8000 - Doing Science: Methods, Ethics and Dissemination


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Oral examination
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral examination 100/100 D

Course content

The course is aimed to train all PhD students in natural sciences and technology students to become eminent scientists, to understand the role of science in society, and to perform and communicate their science efficiently and ethically. It includes an introduction to the history of science, the principles and challenges of scientific enquiry, central and controversial issues on the interface between science and society, scientific writing, dissemination of science through media, and the ethics of proper scientific conduct. An overarching goal is to make students reflect upon scientific practice including their own work within the broader framework of scientific enquiry, as it has evolved over the centuries. The course also aims to provide students with the tools to relate and communicate science to society at large.

Learning outcome

After the course, students should have achieved the following: Knowledge of - central issues in the history of science - theory and fundamental methods of scientific enquiry – their potential and limitations - central issues regarding the interface between science and society - principles of scientific and popularized dissemination - ethical issues in scientific conduct Skills in - performing science and testing scientific hypotheses in a rigorous, systematic and critical way - discussing and presenting the role of science in society - scientific writing - dissemination of science to the general public, stakeholders and end users - performing science according to high ethical standards and in detecting cases of scientific misconduct Competence in - principles of scientific enquiry - good scientific practice - critical reflection about own and other science - communicating science - ethical scientific conduct

Learning methods and activities

MN8000 is an intensive course (3-5 days per week, 6 hours per day) with a mandatory attendance policy that is taught once a year every January. The course is based on a combination of lectures and seminars. The seminars are interactive, with a strong focus on student involvement and discussion. The teaching of principles of scientific inquiry, of good and bad scientific conduct, and of scientific writing will be related directly to examples from the student's own work and related scientific practice. The course will be taught as five modules: 1. Communication in Science, 2. History of Modern Science, 3. Ethics in Science, 4. Scientific Theory, 5. Science and Society

Further on evaluation

At the end of the course there is a group exam. Participants in the group are students that have worked together during the course.

Course materials

The course requires you to possess and read the following book, which should be available at the NTNU bookstore or from your fellow PhD candidates who have completed the course and possible online as a free PDF: Peter Kosso, "Reading the book of nature: An Introduction to the philosophy of science", ISBN-10: 0521426820. Note, ideally, this book should be read before you start the course.Other course reading materials will be available on Blackboard from December-January.Thus it is essential that you be registered with access to Blackboard in December. Books and other materials as announced on blackboard in due time prior to the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
BI8092 7.5 AUTUMN 2015
HFEL8000 3.0 AUTUMN 2017
SMED8004 5.0 AUTUMN 2019
SMED8005 3.0 AUTUMN 2019
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Chemical Engineering


Examination arrangement: Oral examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Oral examination 100/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral examination 100/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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