Sciences and Society

UC Berkeley undergraduates interested in the Sciences and Society Course Thread should contact Gretchen Gano, Associate Director of Research ( at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society.

From climate change and nuclear risk to the promises and challenges of new developments in biomedicine, the pressing problems of our time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological and political, ethical and economic. Beyond the confines of traditional disciplines, the Sciences and Society Course Thread helps Berkeley undergraduates investigate the complex relationships between perspectives and practices too often kept apart. Science and technology studies-related courses help us understand how science, technology, and medicine change our horizons of political possibility (as with social media and revolution) and social (in)justice (as with the promise and perils of egg donation and transnational surrogacy). They also help us understand how social and ethical commitments, historical processes, and political formations help shape what will count as authoritative knowledge and viable technologies.

The kinds of topics students will find in this Course Thread include the histories and futures of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human; race, identity, and genetics; the politics of access to medicines at home and globally; global environmental politics, social justice, and sustainable development; and much more. With courses in departments including Integrative Biology, Rhetoric, History, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Ethnic Studies, Engineering, Geography, Anthropology, and many more, the Sciences and Society Course Thread helps Berkeley undergraduates develop new kinds of interdisciplinary literacy that are become increasingly important to our engagements in the contemporary world.

Watch Professor of Anthropology, Cori Hayden's introduction of the thread:




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