Be it bugs, buildings, or bits, what humans imagine and construct is tightly interconnected with the societies they live in. This course provides an overview of the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a way to study how our knowledge and technology shape and are shaped by social, political, historical, economic, and other factors. We will learn key concepts of the field (e.g. how technologies are understood and used differently in different communities) and apply them to a wide range of topics, including geography, history, environmental and information science, and others. Questions this course will address include: how are scientific facts constructed? How are values embedded in technical systems? Can non-humans have agency? Is it possible to dissociate science and politics? What is scientific evidence and how do we use it?
Lead instructors: Massimo Mazzotti (History) & David Winickoff (ESPM)
Guest lecturers: Marissa Mika, Hélène Mialet, Michele Pridmore-Brown.