Offered by: College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, Philosophy Department
The curriculum matrix for the degree program may be found here. The curriculum matrix is the alignment of courses (curriculum) with the desired goals and student learning outcomes of the program. It shows what is taught and how these outcomes are achieved through the completion of the degree program.
The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Major is an interdisciplinary program which integrates knowledge in the natural sciences, and in technology as well as in history, philosophy, sociology, economics, political science, geography, and anthropology. Consequently, courses included in the STS Major curriculum are taught by faculty in seven of the University’s Colleges including the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.
STS examines the goals and practices of science and technology, including how such goals and practices are affected by economic, cultural, and political events, and conversely, how these events are in turn affected by developments in science and technology.
STS focuses on the following sorts of issues: (1) general issues about the authority of science, such as the questions of what science is, and how it is different from pseudoscience, and the reliability of research science; (2) questions regarding the impact of science and technology on societies; and (3) questions regarding how local, national and global political interests affect scientific inquiry and technological development.
Moreover, these three sorts of questions interrelate in complicated ways. Consider the debate about climate change. This debate obviously raises issues concerning the impact of technology on societies, but it also raises issues about the reliability of the scientific research involved in identifying this impact, the use and interpretation of this research by political leaders and public policy makers, and the affect of public policy in driving possible technological solutions.
Students earn a Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology, and Society. The STS Major prepares students who seek jobs requiring a broader perspective on science and technology than that provided by a traditional science or technology major; such jobs include those in law or business which are engaged with aspects of science and technology, in science and technology public policy making or analysis, in science and technology public interest advocacy, and in science journalism. In brief, the STS Major prepares students for jobs that require scientific and technological literacy as well as a broad perspective on science and technology and an ability to write and argue from this perspective.
Peter Ross, Director