Our teaching emphasizes building students’ understanding of the interrelationships among science, technology, knowledge and society, with a focus not only on how science and technology are made by people through intricate social and cultural practices, but also on the ways that the science and technology we make in turn influences us.
We teach a variety of courses that introduce students to the social study of knowledge, science, and technology, as well as courses that delve deeply into particular thematic areas. All of our courses emphasize scholarship as an active undertaking, and include methodological instruction and research projects.
The current semester’s courses can be found below, and past semesters’ offerings can be found here.
Summer Semester 2022 Courses
Dr. Nicholas Buchanan: An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
(Course Number 00LE62V-LAS-CO0017)
Science and technology are defining characteristics of our world. But how is scientific knowledge made, how are technologies developed? What impacts do these have on our lives and the lives of others, and in what ways do human choices shape science and technology?
This course explores science and technology not as bodies of knowledge or collections of artifacts, but rather as social practices and processes. In it, we will examine the interrelationships among science, technology, and society in historical and contemporary contexts, with the aim of better understanding the embeddedness of scientific and technical activities within society.
Because Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an eclectic and wide-ranging field of inquiry that resists clean theoretical summary, the course will not be organized as a tour of major canonical theories within science and technology studies. Instead, lectures will explore how STS can help provide a deeper understanding of all-too-easily taken-forgranted categories in public discourse, such as “science,” “technology,” “bodies,” “nature,” “experts,” and “disciplines.” Throughout our discussion, we will nonetheless highlight important schools of thought within STS as we draw on sources in the history of science and technology, the sociology of scientific knowledge, and the anthropology of science and technology.