Philosophy and history of science and technology

1st level university Master - academic year: 2021/22

Interuniversity program

Ca' Foscari University of Venice and University of Bologna


Eleonora Montuschi
Ca' Foscari University of Venice



Scientific literacy, defined as “the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity” (National Academy of Sciences 1996), is a mandatory task to undertake in contemporary ‘knowledge societies’. Literacy does not only entail technical competence in distinct scientific disciplines, but also a critical and informed understanding of the contexts (conceptual, historical, cultural, social) where science happens.

Because of this, scientific literacy is a task orthogonal to different categories of people – the producers of scientific knowledge (the scientists), its users (different institutional actors and stakeholders, the lay citizens), the educators. Within this framework the study of the philosophy and history of science and technology can play a crucial role in pursuing that task, provided that this study does not consist of an isolated, self-referential disciplinary pursuit. It should rather endorse a fruitful dialogue with the sciences themselves and the wider context of society.

The Master's in Philosophy and history of science and technology – taught in collaboration between the University of Venice and the University of Bologna, as well as by a number of invited international scholars – aims to train interdisciplinary figures, able to take on the challenges that contemporary societies entrust to the new experts. It is open to individuals with an education in either the Humanities or the Sciences (broadly conceived to include not only the natural sciences) in view of promoting an interactive and innovative dialogue between what traditionally goes under the label of “the two cultures”.


This Master’s Programme aims to train professional figures able to:

  • Understand the conceptual aspects and innovative uses of science and technology 
  • Critically reflect on the cultural genesis and historical relevance of those very aspects
  • Approach science from an interdisciplinary perspective, encouraging mutual learning among experts in the fields of science, technology and the humanities

It will focus on developing befitting and innovative tools both for students interested in pursuing an academic career and professionals in need of responding competently to the requests of an increasingly challenging job market. It will contribute to the training of careers such as: science advisor/policy consultant (European and extra -European institutions), designer and curator of scientific/cultural events and festivals, science museum curator, research facilitator/project manager/project designer, school education expert in high-school teaching training. 

For more information watch the video presentation here

Course calendar

October 7 / November 6 2021
Scientific Advice, Decisions And Trust In Public Debate- Elonora Montuschi
Conceptions Of Nature - Monica Azzolini

November 18 / December 18 2021 
Political Cultures of Science and Environmental Crisis – Pietro Daniel Omodeo
Bioethics And The Law – Fabrizio Turoldo, Marina Lalatta, Nicola Riva

January 13 / February 12 2022
Experience, Experiment And Practical Knowledge  – Matteo Martelli
Health Desease And Enhancement  – Raffaella Campaner, Francesco Bianchini

February 17 / March 26 2022 
Reasoning And Deliberating With Numbers  – Paolo Garbolino
Project Design  – Pier Paolo Pentucci

April / May /June 2022 
Seminars “Making Science Happen”

July 2022

Language: English

Available places: 15

Duration of the programme: one year

Period: October 2021 - October 2022

Teaching method: classroom and online lectures, seminars, group work

Location: Venice and Bologna

Deadline for application submission: September 9, 2021

Enrolment fees: € 3.500

Information: Ca’ Foscari Challenge School,

Last update: 12/10/2021