Science, Technology, and Society

This class is the first STS class I ever took. It covered on the breadth of the STS field, including readings every week of important or commonly read articles in STS. A schedule/list of readings is below:

Unit 1 – Science and Technology


Week 1 – Introducing STS


Tuesday, Sept 1st – No Reading


Friday, Sept 4th – Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Week 2 – Social Studies of Science

Tuesday, Sept 8th – Hacking, Ian. The Social Construction of What? Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1999.


Friday, Sept 11th – Callon, Michel. “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation.” In The Science Studies Reader, edited by Mario Biagioli. New York: Routledge, 1999.


Keller, Evelyn Fox. A Feeling for the Organism, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. Macmillan, 1984.


“Introduction” Kleinman, Daniel Lee, Abby J. Kinchy, and Jo Handelsman, eds. Controversies in science and technology: from maize to menopause. Vol. 1. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2005.

Week 3 – Scientific Expertise and Objectivity  

Tuesday, Sept 15th – Wynne, Brian. “Misunderstood Misunderstanding: Social Identities and Public Uptake of Science.” Public Understanding of Science 1 (1992): 281–304.


Friday, Sept 18th – Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. Merchants of doubt: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2011.


Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies, 1988, 575–99.


Harding, Sandra. “A Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science? Resources from Standpoint Theory’s Controversiality.” Hypatia 19, no. 1 (2004): 25–47.


Week 4 – The Politics of Technology


Tuesday, Sept 22nd –  Winner, Langdon. “Do artifacts have politics?.” Daedalus (1980): 121-136


Friday, Sept 25th – Noble, David. “Social Choice in Machine Design:  The Case of Automatically Controlled Machine Tools and a Challenge for Labor.” Politics and Society (1978): 313347.


Campbell, Nancy D. “Suspect technologies: scrutinizing the intersection of science, technology, and policy.” Science, Technology & Human Values 30, no. 3 (2005): 374-402.


Seiter, Ellen. “Practicing at Home: Computers, Pianos, and Cultural Capital.” Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected. Edited by Tara McPherson. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008. 27–52.


Week 5 – The Social Construction of Technology


Tuesday, Sept 29th – Bijker, Wiebe E., Thomas Parke Hughes, and T. J. Pinch, eds. The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Anniversary ed. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2012.


Friday, Oct 2nd – Oudshoorn, Nelly. Beyond the Natural Body: An Archaeology of Sex Hormones. New York; London: Routledge, 1994.


Collins, Harry, and Trevor Pinch. “The Naked Launch: Assigning Blame for the Challenger Explosion.” In the golem at large: What you should know about technology. Cambridge University Press, 1998.


Layne, Linda L., Sharra Louise Vostral, and Kate Boyer. Feminist technology. University of Illinois Press, 2010.


Unit 2 – Engineering, Design, Mathematics and Computing


Week 6 – Engineering and Computer Education


Tuesday, Oct 6th  – Downey, Gary Lee, and Juan Lucena. “Weeding out and hiring in: How engineers succeed.” Cyborgs and Citadels: Anthropological Interventions in Emerging Sciences and Technologies (1997): 49-64


Friday, Oct 9th – Cech, Erin A. “Culture of disengagement in engineering education?.” Science, Technology & Human Values 39, no. 1 (2014): 42-72.


Scott, Kimberly A., Kimberly M. Sheridan, and Kevin Clark. “Culturally responsive computing: a theory revisited.” Learning, Media and Technology ahead-of-print (2014): 1-25.


Slaton, Amy E. Race, rigor, and selectivity in US engineering: The history of an occupational color line. Harvard University Press, 2010.


Week 7 – The Social Studies of Design


Tuesday, Oct 13th – No Class


Friday (Group Readings), Oct 16th – 30 Minute Mid-Term


Woodhouse, Edward, and Jason W. Patton. “Design by Society: Science and Technology Studies and the Social Shaping of Design.” Design Issues 20, no. 3 (2004): 1–12.


Nieusma, Dean. “Alternative design scholarship: Working toward appropriate design.” Design Issues 20, no. 3 (2004): 13-24.


Week 8 – Engineering, Ethics, and Social Justice 


Tuesday, Oct 20th – Johnson, Deborah G., and Jameson M. Wetmore. “STS and ethics: implications for engineering ethics.” The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, (2008): 567-82.


Friday, Oct 23rd – Franzway, Suzanne, Rhonda Sharp, Julie E. Mills, and Judith Gill. “Engineering ignorance: The problem of gender equity in engineering.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 30, no. 1 (2009): 89-106.


Nieusma, Dean, and Donna Riley. “Designs on development: Engineering, globalization, and social justice.” Engineering Studies 2, no. 1 (2010): 29-59.


Herkert, Joseph R., and David A. Banks. “I have seen the future! Ethics, progress, and the grand challenges for engineering.” International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace 1, no. 2 (2012): 109-122.


Week 9 – Social and Cultural Studies of Mathematics


Tuesday, Oct 27th – Restivo, Sal. “The social life of mathematics.” Math Worlds (1993): 247-278.


Friday, Oct 30th – Ferreira, Mariana Kawall Leal. “When 1+ 1≠2: Making mathematics in central Brazil.” American Ethnologist (1997): 132-147.


Eglash, Ron. “When math worlds collide: Intention and invention in ethnomathematics.” Science, Technology & Human Values 22, no. 1 (1997): 79-97.


Martin, Brian. “Mathematics and social interests.” Ethnomathematics: Challenging Eurocentrism in mathematics education (1997): 155-172.


Week 10 – Computing and Society


Tuesday, Nov 3rd – Pollock, Neil. “When is a Work Around? Conflict and Negotiation in Computer Systems Development.” In Technology and Society: Building Our Sociotechnical Future (2009): 423-439.


Friday, Nov 6th – Edwards, P. N., M. S. Mayernik, A. L. Batcheller, G. C. Bowker, and C. L. Borgman. “Science Friction: Data, Metadata, and Collaboration.” Social Studies of Science 41, no. 5 (October 1, 2011): 667–90.


Philip, K., Irani, L., & Dourish, P. (2012) Postcolonial computing a tactical survey.” Science, Technology         & Human Values, 37(1), 3-29.


Akera, Atsushi. “Voluntarism and the fruits of collaboration: The IBM user group, Share.” Technology and Culture 42, no. 4 (2001): 710-736.


Unit 3 – Topics in STS


Week 11 – Social Movements and Environmental Justice


Tuesday, Nov 10th – “Science, Technology, & Social Movements” Hess, Breyman, Campbell, in The Handbook of STS Studies 4th ed.


Friday, Nov 13th – Mascarenhas, Michael. Where the Waters Divide: Neoliberalism, White Privilege, and Environmental Racism in Canada. Lexington Books, 2012.


Kinchy, Abby. “Epistemic Boomerang: Expert Policy Advice as Leverage in the Campaign against Transgenic Maize in Mexico.” Mobilization: An International Quarterly 15, no. 2 (2010): 179–98.


Costelloe-Kuehn, Brandon. “Exposed science: genes, the environment, and the politics of population health.” New Genetics and Society 32, no. 4 (2013): 451-454.



Week 12 – Social/Natural Disasters


Tuesday, Nov 17th – Perrow, Charles. “Normal Accident at Three Mile Island.” Society 18, no. 5 (1981): 17–26.


Friday, Nov 20th – Fortun, Kim. Advocacy after Bhopal: Environmentalism, disaster, new global orders. University of Chicago Press, 2009.


Woodhouse, Edward. “Conceptualizing disasters as extreme versions of everyday life.” Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response and Recovery (2011): 61-74.


Suzuki, T. “Deconstructing the Zero-Risk Mindset: The Lessons and Future Responsibilities for a Post-Fukushima Nuclear Japan.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 67, no. 5 (September 1, 2011): 9–18.


Week 13 – Ecological Economics


Tuesday, Nov 24th – Duchin, Faye. (2005) “Sustainable Consumption of Food: A Framework for Analyzing Scenarios about Changes in Diets”. Journal of Industrial Ecology 9:1-2. pp 99-114


Gowdy, John. “Avoiding Self-Organized Extinction: Toward a Co-Evolutionary Economics of Sustainability.” International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 14, no. 1 (February 2007): 27–36.


Friday, Nov 27th – No Class.


Week 14 – Genetics and DNA


Tuesday, Dec 1st – Brewer, Marilynn B., and Linnda R. Caporael. “Selfish genes vs. selfish people: Sociobiology as origin myth.” Motivation and Emotion 14, no. 4 (1990): 237-243.

Friday, Dec 4th – TallBear, Kimberly. Native American DNA: Tribal belonging and the false promise of genetic science. 2013.


Fortun, Mike. “For an ethics of promising, or: a few kind words about James Watson.” New Genetics and Society 24, no. 2 (2005): 157-174.


Hartigan, John. “Is Race Still Socially Constructed? The Recent Controversy over Race and Medical Genetics.” Science as Culture 17, no. 2 (June 2008): 163–93.


Week 15 – Community and the Good Life


Tuesday, Dec 8th – Chapman, Gary. “25 ‘‘Shaping Technology for the ‘Good Life’: The Technological Imperative versus the Social Imperative’’.” TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY (2004): 445.


Dotson, Taylor.  Introduction(?).  Dissertation (I don’t actually know the title).


Friday, Dec 11th – Poster Sessions