Science and Technology Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Designated Emphasis (DE) in Science and Technology Studies (STS) is a program of training in the social studies of science, technology, and medicine for Berkeley and UCSF PhD students from any home department. Students who are accepted into the program, and who complete its requirements, will be in a strong position to excel within STS-related fields.

Students in this program receive a rigorous grounding in the studies of knowledge production and technological change. The program also facilitates a deeper involvement with the lively interdisciplinary research community at Berkeley dedicated to understanding the dynamic relations among science, technology, and social and political formations.

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Admissions

To be admitted to the Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies, an applicant must already be accepted into a PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley. For further information regarding admission to graduate programs at UC Berkeley, please see the Graduate Division's admissions website.

How to apply for the DE:

  1. One-page letter of intent summarizing research interests, educational or employment background, and any related coursework in areas related to Science and Technology Studies;
  2. A list of courses the student would use to satisfy the elective requirement (optional but encouraged);
  3. A writing sample (e.g., a paper you have written for a UC graduate course) that is indicative of your research interests; and
  4. Letter of recommendation from a member of the Science and Technology Studies Affiliated Faculty group.

Designated Emphasis Requirements

Coursework/Curriculum

STS C200Topics in Science and Technology Studies3
STS C250Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar3
Select three electives that place a critical engagement with science, technology and/or medicine at their core (see sample electives below)

Electives

Students are also required to take three elective courses that place a critical engagement with science, technology and/or medicine at their core. To foster interdisciplinarity, no more than two of these electives can be taken from the student’s home department. As a package, the three elective courses are expected to enhance the student’s capacity to understand and analyze how science and technology operate through and within ethical, historical, social, or cultural formations. Courses listed on the DE website are acceptable. If the student wishes to have a course not listed count, he or she should send an email to the head graduate adviser, including the syllabus for the course and a justification for why it should be acceptable.

Below is a list of approved electives:

ANTHRO 210Special Topics in Physical Anthropology4
ANTHRO 219Topics in Medical Anthropology4
ANTHRO 250GSeminars in Social and Cultural Anthropology: Anthropology of Ethics4
ANTHRO 250XSeminars in Social and Cultural Anthropology: Special Topics4
ANTHRO 280CSeminars in Area Studies: South Asia (“Hope and Futurity”)4
CY PLAN 254Sustainable Communities3
CY PLAN 256Course Not Available
CY PLAN 282Course Not Available
ENE,RES 275Water and Development4
ENGLISH 203Graduate Readings (On Life)4
ESPM 256Science, Technology, and the Politics of Nature3
ESPM 260Governance of Global Production3
ESPM 261Sustainability and Society3
GEOG 203Nature and Culture: Social Theory, Social Practice, and the Environment4
GWS 232Transnational Feminist Approaches to Knowledge Production4
GWS 237Transnational Science, Technology, and New Media4
HISTORY 275SCore Courses in the Literature of the Several Fields of History: History of Science4
HISTORY 280SAdvanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: History of Science4
HISTORY 290Historical Colloquium1
INFO 203Social Issues of Information4
INFO 205Information Law and Policy3
INFO 212Course Not Available
INFO C283Course Not Available
INFO 290ASpecial Topics in Information (The Future of Storytelling)1,2
PB HLTH 213AFamily Planning, Population Change, and Health3
PB HLTH 222AHealth Care Technology Policy3
PB HLTH 230Advanced Health Politics3
PUB POL 282Environment and Technology from the Policy and Business Perspective4
PUB POL 284Course Not Available
RHETOR 104Rhetorical Theory and Practice in Historical Eras4

Qualifying Examination

Your PhD qualifying exam committee must include at least one member of the DE affiliated faculty who will evaluate your knowledge related to the designated emphasis.

Dissertation

Your PhD dissertation topic must be related to Science and Technology Studies, and your PhD dissertation committee must include at least one member of the DE affiliated faculty who can evaluate it from that perspective.

Research Resources

For current DE students, small grants are available for STS-related conferences and fieldwork. Application deadlines are twice per year, May 1 and November 1. Applications for activities falling between May 1–October 3 must be received by the May deadline.

Teaching Opportunities

Students may be asked to be a GSI (graduate student instructor) for STS C100 or other courses that the center might develop.

Professional Development Activities

The Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, & Society provides many opportunities for professional development. The STS Working Group meets regularly to discuss STS texts and provide feedback on presentations, job talks, and other aspects of an academic career. Students are welcome to partake in master classes with visiting speakers in our colloquium series. Students are also invited to organize a conference on their general topic, with the assistance of the center.

Courses

Science and Technology Studies

STS C200 Topics in Science and Technology Studies 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013
This course provides a strong foundation for graduate work in STS, a multidisciplinary field with a signature capacity to rethink the relationship among science, technology, and political and social life. From climate change to population genomics, access to medicines and the impact of new media, the problems of our time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological and political, ethical and economic.

Topics in Science and Technology Studies: Read More [+]

STS C250 Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2013
This course will cover methods and approaches for students considering professionalizing in the field of STS, including a chance for students to workshop written work.

Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Vincanne Adams, Professor.

Ruzena Bajcsy, Professor. Artificial Intelligence (AI); Biosystems & Computational Biology (BIO); Control, Intelligent Systems, and Robotics (CIR); Graphics (GR); Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer vision; Bridging information technology to humanities and social sciences; Security (SEC).
Research Profile

David William Bates, Associate Professor. Enlightenment, early Modern European intellectual history, 20th century European and American intellectual history, history and theory of media and technology, history of political thought.
Research Profile

Charles L. Briggs, Professor. Linguistic and medical anthropology, social theory, modernity, citizenship and the state, race, and violence.

Clair Brown, Professor. Innovation, management, economics, labor, employment, labor market institutions, semi-conductor industry.
Research Profile

Jenna Burrell, Associate Professor.

Cathryn Carson, Associate Professor. History of physics, science and society, history of universities, German history, intellectual history, ethnography, data science, nuclear waste.
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James Casey, Professor. Continuum mechanics, finite elasticity, continuum thermodynamics, plasticity, theories of elastic-plastic materials, history of mechanics, dynamics.
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Mel Y. Chen, Associate Professor. Queer and feminist theory, Disability theory, Critical animal studies, Materiality studies, Cultural politics of race, sexuality, ability, and immigration, Critical linguistics, Paradigms of inter- and transdisciplinarity.

Adele Clarke, Professor.

Lawrence Cohen, Professor. Social cultural anthropology, medical and psychiatric anthropology, critical gerontology, lesbian and gay studies, feminist and queer theory.
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Marianne Constable, Professor. Law and language, legal rhetoric and philosophy, social and political thought, Anglo-American legal history, Continental philosophy, law and society.
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Brian Dolan, Professor.

Daniel Farber, Professor. Environmental law, constiutional law, freedom of speech.
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Louise Fortmann, Professor. Poverty, gender, society, community control, property, participatory research, democratizing science, Science and Technology studies.
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Marion Fourcade, Professor. Culture, social theory, political sociology, economic sociology, comparative methods, knowledge and science.
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Beate Fricke, Associate Professor. Medieval art and architecture, idolatry, iconoclasm, history of allegory, formation of communities, incest, anthropophagy, animation, emergence of life and procreation, theories and practices in use of images and relics, visual and material culture, Carolingian Art, Gothic Art, Ottonian Art.
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Ken Goldberg, Professor. Robotics, art, social media, new media, automation.
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Deborah Gordon, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Jodi Halpern, Professor. Public health, bioethics, patient autonomy.
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John Harte, Professor. Global change, ecology, sustainability, energy policy, theoretical ecology, biodiversityl.
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Cori Hayden, Associate Professor. Latin America, Mexico, social and cultural anthropology, kinship, anthropology of science, technology, and medicine, post-colonial science, gender, queer studies.
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Ernest Hook, Professor. Public health, maternal and child health.
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Alastair Iles, Associate Professor. Science, technology and environment; green chemistry; sustainability learning; environmental policy.

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Associate Professor. Culture, population, social action, intentions, Africa, gender, fertility, marriage.
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Donna V. Jones, Associate Professor. Critical theory, English, modernism, literature and philosophy, literature of the Americas, literature of the African Diaspora, postcolonial literature and theory, narrative and historiography.
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Daniel M. Kammen, Professor. Public policy, nuclear engineering, energy, resources, risk analysis as applied to global warming, methodological studies of forecasting, hazard assessment, renewable energy technologies, environmental resource management.
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Ann C. Keller, Associate Professor. Managing expertise and knowledge validation in public health organizations, scientists’ role in environmental policy, patient interest group advocacy, organization and expertise in pandemic response.
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Jake Kosek, Associate Professor. Cultural politics of nature and difference; cultural geography, science and technology studies; critical race theory; critical cartography; biopolitics; human and the non-human; and environmental politics.

John Lie, Professor. Social theory, political economy, East Asia.
Research Profile

Stephen M. Maurer, Adjunct Professor. Homeland Security, Innovation Intellectual Property, Open Source, and Innovation, WMD Terrorism, Biosecurity, Phramaceutical Innovation, Database policy.
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Carolyn Merchant, Professor. Environmental history, philosophy and ethics.
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Minoo Moallem, Professor. Transnational and Postcolonial Feminist Studies, cultural studies, Visual and Material Cultures of Religion, Immigration and Diaspora Studies, Middle East Studies, and Iranian Studies.
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Rachel Morello-Frosch, Professor. Race and class determinants of the distribution of health risks associated with air pollution among diverse communities in the United States.

Deirdre Mulligan, Associate Professor.

Greg Niemeyer, Associate Professor. Art, film studies, digital media installations, photography.
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Aihwa Ong, Professor. Cultural anthropology, anthropology, transnationalism, citizenship, global cities, migration, Southeast Asia, urbanism.
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Abena Osseo-Asare, Assistant Professor.

Nancy L. Peluso, Professor. Political ecology/resource policy and politics/forests/agrarian change/property and access.
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Michael Pollan, Professor. Agriculture, environment, obesity, science, nutrition, journalism, food, cooking, gardening.
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Dorothy Porter, Professor.

Paul M. Rabinow, Professor. Cultural anthropology, social thought, modernity, biotechnology, genome mapping, France, Iceland.
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Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor. Social movements, visual culture, memory, photography, African American history and culture.
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Francesca Rochberg, Professor. History of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
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Christine Rosen, Associate Professor. History of business and the environment, business history, green chemistry, sustainable business strategies.
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Pamela Samuelson, Professor. Public policy, intellectual property law, new information technologies, traditional legal regimes, information management, copyright, software protection and cyberlaw.
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Annalee Saxenian, Professor. Innovation, information management, entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley, regional economic development, high skilled immigration, Asian development.
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Nathan F. Sayre, Associate Professor. Climate change, endangered species, rangelands, political ecology, pastoralism, ranching, environmental history, suburbanization, human-environment interactions, environmental geography, range science and management, Southwestern US, scale, community-based conservation.
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Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor. Critical medical anthropology, violence, genocide, inequality, marginality, childhood, family, psychiatry, deinstitutionalization, medical ethics, fieldwork ethics, globalization medicine, social/ political illness, disease, AIDS, Ireland, Brazil, cuba.
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Suzanne Scotchmer, Professor.

Janet Shim, Associate Professor.

Kim TallBear, Assistant Professor.

Margaret Taylor, Assistant Professor. Climate change, public policy, regulation, intellectual property, technology policy, environmental policy, engineering, environmental markets, environmental management, international R&D policy, organizational behavior/learning, technological innovation.
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David Teece, Professor. Role of product and process development, intellectual property, competitive performance, innovation and organization of industry.
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Charis M. Thompson, Professor. Science & technology studies, environmental ethics, feminist theory, reproductive technology, genetics, stem cell & cloning technology, personalized medicine, biodiversity conservation, transnational studies of reproduction & population, ethnography.
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Elizabeth Watkins, Professor.

Steven Weber, Professor. Political science, international security, international political economy, information science.
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Michael Wintroub, Associate Professor. Religion, ritual, social change, rhetoric, history of science, early modern cultural history, travel, identity formation, alterity, cross-cultural contact, popular and court culture, state-building, humanism, vernacular consciousness and literature, mater.
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Alexei Yurchak, Associate Professor. Language, Discourse, power, social theory, late socialism, theories of ideology, subjectivity, popular culture, ideology, Soviet and post-Soviet culture and society, post-socialism, telecommunications, linguistics, speech synthesis.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Urs Cipolat, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Helene Mialet, Visiting Assistant Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Frederick M. Dolan, Professor Emeritus. Ethics, modernity, aesthetics, political theory, literature and politics, theories of interpretation, Continental philosophy, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Arendt, Foucault, American political discourse, aesthetics and politics.
Research Profile

Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Professor Emeritus. Labor, citizenship, undocumented students, caring work, settler colonialism, skin color bias.
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Bronwyn H. Hall, Professor Emeritus. Applied econometrics, economics of technical change, economics of innovation, patent policy, R&D value, taxation, financing R&D.
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Gillian P. Hart, Professor Emeritus.

David Hollinger, Professor Emeritus. US history.
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William E. Kastenberg, Professor Emeritus. Risk management, risk assessment, nuclear reactor safety, ethical issues in emerging technologies.
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Todd R. Laporte, Professor Emeritus. Technology policy, organization theory, public administration.

John Lesch, Professor Emeritus.

Kristin Luker, Professor Emeritus. Social policy, jurisprudence.
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Richard B. Norgaard, Professor Emeritus. Energy, resources, policy process, understanding of systems, environmental problems challenging scientific understanding, globalization effects, tropical forestry and agriculture, environmental epistemology, energy economics, ecological economics.
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Gene I. Rochlin, Professor Emeritus.

Harry N. Scheiber, Professor Emeritus. American legal history, ocean law and policy, Law of the Sea (international law), federalism and state-federal relations, American constitutional development.
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Nancy A. Van House, Professor Emeritus. Digital libraries, science, information management, technology studies, knowledge communities, user needs, information tools, artifacts, participation of users.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Science and Technology Studies

543 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-642-4581

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Department Chair

Massimo Mazzotti, PhD (History)

mazzotti@berkeley.edu

Head Graduate Adviser

David Winickoff, JD, MA (Bioethics and Society)

115 Giannini Hall

Phone: 510-643-0319

Fax: 510-643-2504

winickoff@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Davinder Sidhu

543 Stephens Hall

cstms@berkeley.edu

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