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Welcome to STS

Please Note:  The STS Program will be closing on July 1, 2012.  Please contact the Director if you have any questions.

 

Science and technology continue to shape our society in profound ways. Entering the 21st century, our society is in need of well-educated individuals with a command of scientific and technical concepts. The sciences and engineering further require cultural, ethical, legal, and historical frameworks to critically assess the appropriate and far-sighted application of these new concepts and cutting-edge technologies.  

Entering the 21st century, our society is in need of well-educated individuals with a command of scientific and technical concepts.

The Science, Technology, and Society Program (STS) provides an interdisciplinary approach to the social, historical, ethical, philosophical, legal, and policy implications of scientific research, engineering, health, and medicine. Due to their engagement with multiple sides of current scientific and technical issues, STS scholars are uniquely positioned to take a leading role in shaping society. For the University, STS provides a means of bridging academic disciplines and forging new initiatives across disciplinary boundaries. For our students, STS provides an opportunity to bridge disciplinary interests, expand research possibilities, and learn the analytical skills needed to be competitive in an increasingly globalizing market for the sciences and technology.

Cross-cutting issues such as these are the important — even civilization challenging — topics that the field of Science, Technology and Society faces on a routine basis. 

  • Globally, energy use is on the rise, and energy in any form is being sought after like never before. Yet, some types of energy are far more problematic than others.

  • In 2000, 50% of the global population lived in cities. By 2025, city dwellers are projected to reach 5 billion in number across the world, i.e. over 70 percent. 

  • Human-induced climate change, which we are already experiencing, is presenting civilization-challenging problems for the sciences, engineering, and political institutions to collaboratively work out.

  • Food security and clean water are becoming ever more difficult to ensure, particularly in many poorer parts of the world.

  • Doctors and medical specialists are developing new techniques at the cutting edge of our understanding of biological processes, yet many of these promising solutions pose social trade-offs and ethical questions never before faced.