Science and Technology Studies Immersion

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Overview

The science and technology studies immersion examines some of the major impacts of science and technology in the contemporary world. Special preference is given to American concerns. Students gain an overall appreciation of the social nature of science and technology as they have developed in the past, as they exist today, and as they may affect society in the future under various scenarios. Science and technology have become social systems in their own right and have made possible increasing freedom, a fantastic variety of choice, and, paradoxically, the growing interdependence of all segments of world society. A new level of public awareness and concern is crucial to understanding and dealing successfully with these consequences.

Notes about this immersion:

  • Students are required to complete at least one course at the 300-level or above as part of the immersion.

Curriculum

Notes about this immersion:

  • Students are required to complete at least one course at the 300-level or above as part of the immersion.
Course
Electives
Choose three of the following:
  STSO-201
   Science and Technology Policy
Examines how local, state, federal and international policies are developed to influence innovation, the transfer of technology and industrial productivity in the United States and other selected nations.
  STSO-240
   Social Consequences of Technology
Modern society is increasingly based on technology. With each advance due to technology, unanticipated problems are also introduced. Society must define and solve these problems or the advances may be diluted or lost. In this course we study several interactions between technology and the world in which we live. We investigate how various technologies developed and compare the expected effects of the new technologies with the actual results.
  STSO-246
   History of Women in Science and Engineering
Using biographical and social-historical approaches, this course examines the history of women's involvement in science and engineering since the birth of modern science in the seventeenth century; the historical roots of gender bias in the Western scientific enterprise; and the influx of women into science and engineering since the mid-to-late 20th century. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies.
  STSO-321
   Face of the Land
Based on field trips and critical readings, this course explores how the land around us has been shaped and reshaped through a variety of geological forces and historical developments. By considering the natural landforms of the United States (and other countries, as appropriate), students see how the nature of land has determined its value. As technological innovations occur, old relationships with the land have been altered. Thus the course offers students a historical approach to the relationship of technology and society, as evidence by the landscape. The seminar format for this course will also advance students' writing, speaking, and research skills.
  STSO-341
   Biomedical Issues: Science and Technology
A study of the impact of science and technology on life, our view of life and of the value issues that arise from this impact.
  STSO-342
   Gender, Science and Technology
This course explores the importance of gender within Western science and technology. It considers how masculine and feminine identities are socially and culturally shaped, how sex and gender are being significantly transformed, and how rethinking gendered practices may help make science and technology fairer and more responsive. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies.
  STSO-345
   Makers of Modern Science
Approaches the history of science through studying biographies of modern scientists. Modern science is understood to be science from the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries to the present. Emphasis will be on recent scholarship devoted to analyzing science in context, i.e., the way it actually develops through the lives of individuals, in particular social and political contexts.
  STSO-346
   Technology in American History
This course explores the development of technology in American history, from the time of first contact between Europeans and Native Americans to the present. It emphasizes, for different periods in American history: the technological contributions of individuals or distinctive groups, the main features of important technological systems, and the way technology shaped--and was shaped by--the social, economic, and political institutions of the time.)
  STSO-441
   Cyborg Theory: (Re)thinking the Human Experience in the 21st Century
The developing cybernetic organism or cyborg challenges traditional concepts of what it means to be human. Today medical science and science fiction appear to merge in ways unimagined a century ago. By exploring scientific and cultural theories, science fiction, and public experience, this class examines the history and potential of the cyborg in Western cultures.
  STSO-442
   Science, Technology and Society Classics
STS classics are books that involve science or technology and that also have notable social significance. In this course students will read several such books to advance their understanding of how society learns about, explores, and evaluates science and technology. The seminar format for this course will also advance students' writing, speaking, and research skills.
  STSO-445
   The Natural Sciences in Western History
This course explores the development of the natural sciences in Western history, from ancient times to the present. It emphasizes how astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology have changed over time, and it seeks to place those changes in their social, economic, cultural, and religious contexts.
  STSO-446
   History of Chemistry
This course surveys the history of chemistry from antiquity to the present. Emphasis will be placed on developments since the Renaissance; on changing views of how matter is structured and how different substances react (or fail to react); and on the political, social, and
  STSO-510
   Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar
This course is an upper-level undergraduate seminar that explores how science, technology, society, environment and policy are understood in contemporary and historical contexts. The course brings together a variety of views and readings to offer an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complex ways in which citizens make and understand the world. (Enrollment in Department of STS/Public Policy)