STS 275
Environmental Science, Policy, and Justice Spring 2024
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ENVI 275
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Environmental science is much more than collecting data. Scientific experts are often called upon–and often position themselves–to guide environmental governance, which means that science has (some) power over public life. What is, and what should be, the relationship between science, on the one hand, and the creation and implementation of environmental policy, on the other? In this seminar we will study how science shapes governance and how science itself is governed. We will explore how legislatures, agencies, and courts respond to scientific information and uncertainty. And we will learn about how communities facing environmental racism and injustice collect data and use it in their advocacy. Along the way, we will challenge the idea of a unified “scientific method,” and we will think about how Western scientific knowledge relates to other ways of knowing, including non-Western sciences, embodied knowledge, and traditional knowledge. Topics include: international climate negotiation, chemical exposure, the regulation of biotechnology, agricultural policy, pandemic responses, and plastics and electronics waste.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 12
Class#: 3307
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: several short essays, final essay
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: juniors, seniors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
STS 275 Division II ENVI 275 Division II
DPE Notes: This course will explore how unequal power leads to environmental injustice. Specifically, we will analyze how local and global environmental problems are distributed unevenly according to race, gender, and class. Using case studies we will analyze how communities facing environmental racism interact with scientists and sciences.
Attributes: ENVI Environmental Policy
EVST Social Science/Policy

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