Founded in 1976, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society attempts to increase human understanding of the human-built world. Science and technology are no longer specialized enterprises confined to factories and laboratories: they have become intertwined with each other and with human society. The fundamental contribution of STS is to look at the human-built world as an integrated whole. Two basic, interrelated questions are addressed by faculty and students in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society:

  • How did science and technology evolve as human activities?
  • How do they relate to the larger civilization?

The STS perspective has become of critical importance in understanding a host of public issues such as privacy, democracy, environment, medicine, education, and national and global security.

Beginning in 1988, the STS Program, in collaboration with the History Faculty and Anthropology Program, created a doctoral program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology (HSSST). While many HSSST graduates teach at universities, others bring an STS perspective to law, business, journalism, and museum work. An undergraduate program in STS has existed since 1980. It typically attracts students with broad interests who seek an interdisciplinary approach to education and who want to learn how scientists and engineers influence the world. Students may concentrate, minor, joint major or double major in STS.

For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/sts/ .

Recent Submissions

  • STS.320 Environmental Conflict and Social Change, Fall 2005 

    Walley, Christine (2005-12)
    This graduate-level class explores the complex interrelationships among humans and natural environments, focusing on non-western parts of the world in addition to Europe and the United States. It uses environmental conflict ...
  • MAS.714J / STS.445J Technologies for Creative Learning, Fall 2004 

    Resnick, Mitchel (2004-12)
    This course explores how new technologies can help people learn new things in new ways. It analyzes principles and strategies underlying the design of innovative educational technologies and creative learning environments, ...
  • 21H.909 People and Other Animals, Fall 2005 

    Ritvo, Harriet (2005-12)
    A historical survey of the ways that people have interacted with their closest animal relatives, for example: hunting, domestication of livestock, worship of animal gods, exploitation of animal labor, scientific study of ...

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