Welcome to the Department of Science and  Technology Studies

What is STS?

STS is the interdisciplinary study of relationships between science, technology and society. We examine how socio-cultural, economic, political and historical factors influence the production, interpretation and distribution of scientific and technical knowledge, and how this knowledge impacts society.

Complex issues face our world today such as digital surveillance and information manipulation, environmental degradation and climate change, technological transformations related to AI and robotics, ethics and genomics, pharmaceutical governance, and sustainable food production.

STS scholars use a range of interdisciplinary approaches to deal with these difficult issues. Our research helps inform social decision-making by recognizing that solutions to complex contemporary challenges have multiple interacting natural, social and technical features. We assign high priority to communicating our expertise and understanding of these complex events to science and non-science academics and students, policy makers as well as the public at large.

Fundamentally, STS scholars view research and innovation as social activities situated in specific contexts. We ask questions such as:  What defines scientific knowledge? What shapes technical innovations? Who are the producers and who the users?  What institutions support these practices? What cultural values do they support? How is scientific and technical knowledge disseminated? How has STEM research shaped historical and current understandings of gender and race?

Our aim is to educate future scientists, engineers, politicians, business executives and responsible citizens to integrate scientific and technical competence with critical thinking, human values, and social and environmental responsibility.

Faculty Profiles

Program Changes