The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program is a multidisciplinary program that studies science and technology in a social, cultural, and historical context. Established in 1971, it was one of the first programs of its kind at an undergraduate institution. Today, many graduate and a few undergraduate institutions have programs of a similar nature. As an undergraduate program, however, Vassar’s is unique in the flexibility it gives its majors and in the close relationship it fosters between students and faculty.
The multidisciplinary program in Science, Technology, and Society engages broadly the conversation on the intersections between science, technology, and a breadth of social, political, historic, economic and philosophical contexts which shape, and in turn are shaped by, science and technology. More specifically, the curriculum in Vassar’s STS Program is designed to enable students to pursue three objectives:
- To understand the central role of science and technology in contemporary society.
- To examine how science and technology reflect their social, political, philosophical, economic and cultural contexts.
- To explore the human, ethical, and policy implications of current and emerging technologies.
Over the past few years, our faculty members have come to the program from the departments of Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Geography, Economics, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychological Science, and Sociology, as well as STS. We have also enjoyed the expertise of colleagues outside the college, in the fields of bioethics and law, who have taught seminars in their respective fields.