This course provide its participants guidance in thinking about the role and responsibility that professional, notably engineers and scientists, have in society.
The course starts with a group work and collective reflection about the question what does it mean to be a professional in general and a professional in mining industry and what implications has the specific role. Two aspects related to this question will then be discussed in more detail. First, the characteristics of expert knowledge, related to the question if special knowledge and unbiased knowledge are synonymous. Within this subunit statements of codes of conduct and a classical example on the relation of expert (scientific) and local expert knowledge will be point of departure. Second, it will be discussed what responsibility and social responsibility of professionals mean. Subsequently the issue of ethical dilemma will be explored and strategies how to make choices in such situations will be discussed. Within the last unit of the course, the focus will be on society, notably on the public. By using concepts from social science it will be clarified what "the public" is and what is specific about communication with the public. The course builds strongly on exercises, self-awareness, and discussion. Some written texts that introduce case studies or that are part of professional work (e.g. code of ethics) will be used as point of departure. Concepts from social sciences that enables a better understanding of the issues discussed in the course, will be introduced by the trainer.
As trainer I understand myself as someone who facilitates the learning of participants. Participants who attend the course have rich experiences in the field of mining, have previous knowledge (not only knowledge related to their profession), expectations, and conceptions about the world and their role within the world. My aim is to rely on the experiences and expertise of the participants that are related to the course topic and think them through by taking a perspective that differ from the perspective usually taken. That is why in all units and subunits group work exercises will be carried out, followed by discussion of the results of these group works. By so doing I wish to enable the participants gaining new insights on the topic.
Type of training
The course is a combination of classroom lectures, group work and self-study.
Objectives and outcomes