STS 101
Science, Technology, and Human Values Spring 2025
Division II
Cross-listed SOC 201

Class Details

This course offers an introduction to science and technology studies. Attention will be devoted to exploring the nature of science and technology, their relationships to and interactions with one another, society and the natural world, and the influences these interactions exert in shaping what humans value. With widespread use of new social media, controversial developments in such bio-technical practices as gene-editing and the cloning of mammals, rapid advances in various forms of technological surveillance, and the increasing sophistication of technological weaponry in the military, the triumph of technology remains a defining feature of modern life. For the most part, modern humans remain unflinchingly confident in the possibilities technology holds for continuing to improve the human condition. As with other features of modernity, however, technology has also had significant, albeit largely unanticipated, social consequences. This course will focus on the less often examined latent functions of science and technology in modern society. It will consider, for example, the social effects of technology on community life, on privacy, and on how people learn, think, understand the world, communicate, and organize themselves. The course will also examine the effects of technology on medicine, education, criminal law, and agriculture and will consider such counter-cultural reactions to technology as the Luddite movement in early nineteenth century England, Amish agrarian practices, and the CSA (community supported agriculture) movement.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 3018
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: A midterm, final, and two short papers.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-years and sophomores
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
STS 101 Division II SOC 201 Division II

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