Tobias Schmidt: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Award: The Golden Owl
Name Prof. Dr. Tobias Schmidt
FieldEnergy and Technology Policy
Address
Energie- und Technologiepolitik
ETH Zürich, CLD C 12.1
Clausiusstrasse 37
8092 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
Telephone+41 44 632 04 86
E-mailtobiasschmidt@ethz.ch
URLhttp://www.epg.ethz.ch
DepartmentHumanities, Social and Political Sciences
RelationshipAssociate Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
851-0609-06LGoverning the Energy Transition Restricted registration - show details
Primarily suited for Master and PhD level.
2 credits2VT. Schmidt, N. Schmid, S. Sewerin
AbstractThis course addresses the role of policy and its underlying politics in the transformation of the energy sector. It covers historical, socio-economic, and political perspectives and applies various theoretical concepts to understand specific aspects of the governance of the energy transition.
Objective- To gain an overview of the history of the transition of large technical systems
- To recognize current challenges in the energy system to understand the theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying transitions
- To gain knowledge on the role of policy and politics in energy transitions
ContentClimate change, access to energy and other societal challenges are directly linked to the way we use and create energy. Both the 2015 United Nations Paris climate change agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals make a fast and extensive transition of the energy system necessary.
This lecture introduces the social and environmental challenges involved in the energy sector and discusses the implications of these challenges for the rate and direction of technical change in the energy sector. It compares the current situation with historical socio-technical transitions and derives the consequences for policy-making. It introduces theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying innovation and transitions. It then focuses on the role of policy and policy change in governing the energy transition, considering the role of political actors, institutions and policy feedback.
The grade will be determined by a final exam.
Lecture notesSlides and reading material will be made available via moodle.ethz.ch (only for registered students).
LiteratureA reading list will be provided via moodle.ethz.ch at the beginning of the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is particularly suited for students of the following programmes: MA Comparative International Studies; MSc Energy Science & Technology; MSc Environmental Sciences; MSc Management, Technology & Economics; MSc Science, Technology & Policy; ETH & UZH PhD programmes.
857-0103-00LTopics in Public Policy: Governing the Energy Transition Restricted registration - show details
Only for MA Comparative and International Studies.
8 credits3SS. Sewerin, N. Schmid, T. Schmidt
AbstractThis course addresses the role of policy and its underlying politics in the transformation of the energy sector. It covers historical, socio-economic, and political perspectives and applies various theoretical concepts to specific aspects of governing the energy transition. On this basis, students develop their own research project and produce a research paper.
Objective- To gain an overview of the history of the transition of large technical systems
- To recognize current challenges in the energy system to understand the theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying transitions
- To demonstrate knowledge on the role of policy and politics in energy transitions
- To develop own research question and address it in research paper
ContentClimate change, access to energy and other societal challenges are directly linked to the way we use and create energy. Both the recent United Nations Paris climate change agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals make a fast and extensive transition of the energy system necessary.
This course introduces the social and environmental challenges involved in the energy sector and discusses the implications of these challenges for the rate and direction of technical change in the energy sector. It compares the current situation with historical socio-technical transitions and derives the consequences for policy-making. It then introduces theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying innovation and transitions. It then focuses on the role of public policy and policy change in governing the energy transitions, considering the role of political actors, institutions and policy feedback.
The course has a highly interactive (seminar-like) character. Students are expected to actively engage in the weekly discussions and to give a presentation (15-20 minutes) on one of the weekly topics during that particular session. In addition to weekly lectures and student presentations, students will write a research paper of approximately 6000 words.
The presentation and participation in the discussions will form one part of the final grade (20%), the final exam another (20%), with the research paper forming the rest (60%).
Lecture notesSlides and reading material will be made available via moodle.ethz.ch (only for registered students).
LiteratureA reading list will be provided via moodle.ethz.ch at the beginning of the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is intended for the MA Comparative International Studies programme.
860-0004-00LBridging Science, Technology, and Policy Restricted registration - show details
Only for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc and PhD.
ISTP-PhD students please register via the Study Administration.
3 credits2ST. Bernauer, T. Schmidt
AbstractThis course focuses on technological innovations from the beginning of humanity through the industrial revolution up until today. It provides students with a deeper understanding of the factors that drive technological innovations, and the roles government policies, society, science, and industry play in this regard.
ObjectiveThis course picks up on the ISTP Cornerstone Science, Technology and Policy course and goes into greater depth on issues covered in that course, as well as additional issues where science and technology are among the causes of societal challenges but can also help in finding solutions.
ContentWeek 1: no class because of ISTP Cornerstone Science, Technology and Policy course
Week 2: technology & society in historical perspective - technological innovations up to the industrial revolution
Week 3: technology & society in historical perspective - technological innovations during the industrial revolution - engines & electricity
Week 4: technology & society in historical perspective - from the industrial revolution to modernity - mobility and transport (railroads, ships, cars, airplanes, space)
Week 5: food production: the green revolutions.
Week 6: microelectronics, computing & the internet
Week 7: life sciences: pharmaceuticals & diagnostic technology
Week 8: energy: primary fuels, renewables, networks
Week 9: automation: self-driving cars & trains, drones
Week 10: communication & Big Data: semiconductors and software
Week 11: military & security issues associated with technological innovation
Week 12: possible futures (1): nuclear fusion, geoengineering
Week 13: possible Future (2): information, communication, robotics, synthetic biology, nanotech, quantum computing
Lecture notesSkript: Course materials will be available on moodle.
LiteratureLiterature: Literature and references will be available on Moodle.
860-0005-00LColloquium Science, Technology, and Policy (HS) Restricted registration - show details
Only for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc and PhD.
1 credit2KT. Schmidt, T. Bernauer
AbstractPresentations by invited guest speakers from academia and practice/policy. Students are assigned to play a leading role in the discussion and write a report on the respective event.
ObjectivePresentations by invited guest speakers from academia and practice/policy. Students are assigned to play a leading role in the discussion and write a report on the respective event.
ContentSee the program on the ISTP website: http://www.istp.ethz.ch/events/colloquium.html
The series is open to the public. Lectures last about 60 minutes followed by an open discussion.
Prerequisites / Noticeopen to anyone from ETH
860-0031-00LPolicy Analysis Restricted registration - show details
Only for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc.
4 credits2VT. Schmidt, B. Steffen, F. M. Egli
AbstractThe course Policy Analysis 1 will introduce important concepts and methods for ex-ante policy analysis. It will mostly focus on the policy content (vis-à-vis the policy process). We will primarily discuss quantitative methods. The course will contain several practical assignments in which students have to apply the concepts and methods studied.
ObjectiveStudents should gain the skill to perform policy analyses independently. To this end, students will be enabled to understand a policy problem and the rationale for policy intervention; to select appropriate impact categories and methods to address a policy problem through policy analysis; to assess policy alternatives, using various ex-ante policy analysis methods; and to communicate the results of the analysis.
ContentThe course has four major topics:
•Rationales for public policy in Science and Technology
•Impact of policies on firms and investors
•Impacts of policies on socio-technical systems
•Impact of policies on society at large
876-0101-00LEconomic Foundations for Policy Analysis Restricted registration - show details
Only for CAS in Technology and Public Policy: Impact Analysis
3 credits3GT. Schmidt, J.‑E. Sturm
AbstractMarkets play an important function in modern societies by allocating resources and capital. Yet, important market failures require the intervention of public policy. This module introduces the fundamentals of micro- and macro-economics and thereby lays the foundation for the economic assessment of policy interventions.
ObjectiveHow Markets Function (Microeconomics):
Participants (1) understand basic principles, problems and approaches in microeconomics, (2) can analyse and explain simple economic principles in a market using supply and demand graphs, (3) can contrast different market structures and describe firm and consumer behaviour, (4) can identify market failures such as externalities related to market activities and illustrate how these affect the economy as a whole, (5) can address utility maximization and cost minimization problems.
How Economic Systems Function (Macroeconomics):
Participants understand (1) the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, such as gross domestic product, unemployment and inflation rates, (2) why national economic activity fluctuates, (3) what economic policy can do against unemployment and inflation, (4) what significance international economic relations have for specific countries, such as Switzerland.
LiteratureCourse materials can be found on Moodle.
876-0201-00LTechnology and Policy Analysis Restricted registration - show details
Only for CAS in Technology and Public Policy: Impact Analysis
8 credits5GT. Schmidt, E. Ash, R. Garrett, I. Günther, L. Kaack, A. Rom, B. Steffen
AbstractTechnologies substantially affect the way we live and how our societies function. Technological change, i.e. the innovation and diffusion of new technologies, is a fundamental driver of economic growth but can also have detrimental side effects. This module introduces methods to assess technology-related policy alternatives and to analyse how policies affect technological changes and society.
ObjectiveIntroduction:
Participants understand (1) what ex ante and ex post policy impact analysis is, (2) in what forms and with what methods they can be undertaken, (3) why they are important for evidence-​based policy-​making.
Analysis of Policy and Technology Options:
Participants understand (1) how to perform policy analyses related to technology; (2) a policy problem and the rationale for policy intervention; (3) how to select appropriate impact categories and methods to address a policy problem through policy analysis; (4) how to assess policy alternatives, using various ex ante policy analysis methods; (5) and how to communicate the results of the analysis.
Evaluation of Policy Outcomes:
Participants understand (1) when and why policy outcomes can be evaluated based on observational or experimental methods, (2) basic methods for evaluating policy outcomes (e.g. causal inference methods and field experiments), (3) how to apply concepts and methods of policy outcome evaluation to specific cases of interest.
Big Data Approaches to Policy Analysis:
Participants understand (1) why "big data" techniques for making policy-​relevant assessments and predictions are useful, and under what conditions, (2) key techniques in this area, such as procuring big datasets; pre-​processing and dimension reduction of massive datasets for tractable computation; machine learning for predicting outcomes; interpreting machine learning model predictions to understand what is going on inside the black box; data visualization including interactive web apps.
LiteratureCourse materials can be found on Moodle.
876-0301-00LPolicy-Making in Practice Restricted registration - show details
Only for CAS in Technology and Public Policy: Impact Analysis
4 credits3GT. Bernauer, D. N. Bresch, T. Schmidt
AbstractEffective management of risks and uncertainty as well as communication of scientific evidence to stakeholders and policy-makers are essential for successful policy-advice and policy-making. Hence, this module conveys the fundamentals of risk analysis/management and of writing for policy-makers. Besides an academic perspective, it features practitioners working at the technology-policy interface.
ObjectiveRisk Analysis and Risk Management:
Participants understand (1) the role risk and uncertainty play in decision-​ and policy-​making, (2) common approaches to risk management, (3) how to apply methods of quantitative risk analysis, (4) how to communicate risk information clearly and effectively.
Writing for Policy-Makers:
Participants understand (1) particular prerequisites for successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-​makers and the wider public, (2) expectations and needs of different target groups and audiences, (3) how to effectively write policy briefs for stakeholders and policy-​makers.
LiteratureCourse materials can be found on Moodle.