Science and Technology Studies

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society (CSTMS) promotes rigorous interdisciplinary research based on the conviction that the pressing problems of this time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological, political, ethical, and economic.

As a laboratory for the twenty-first-century University, CSTMS conducts cross-disciplinary research, teaching, and outreach on the histories and implications of scientific research, biomedicine, and new technologies. As part of this mission, the center offers a Designated Emphasis (DE) in Science and Technology Studies.

The center’s core mission is to:

  • Catalyze cross-disciplinary research on knowledge production and technological change in the past, present, and future
  • Train new generations of undergraduates and graduate students in multiple literacies
  • Generate broader impact with rapid response forums and major public events on the pressing issues of this time

CSTMS convenes students and faculty in the social sciences and humanities, the professional and medical schools, engineering, and the natural sciences to advance collaborative accounts of our complex world. The center provides a space and dialogue on the implications of new technologies, from geoengineering to synthetic biology. It also provides support for faculty and graduate students seeking extramural grants and seeks to integrate leading academic research in science and technology studies with the work of policymakers, communities, and nongovernmental organizations. CSTMS also promotes the study of the interface of medicine, the humanities, and the qualitative social sciences. Through all of these activities, the center seeks to place Berkeley at the leading edge of global science studies by foregrounding research and training on the transnational dynamics of knowledge production, technological innovation, and inequalities.

As a multidisciplinary field with a signature capacity to rethink the relationship among science, technology, and political and social life, Science and Technology Studies is particularly well placed to address the critical problems of the twenty-first century. From global climate change to the reanimation of race through genomics, from political movements galvanized through new media to efforts to improve access to medicines for the world’s poor, the pressing problems of this time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological and political, ethical, and economic.

Given the complex nature of the world, entrenched disciplinary divides have become increasingly untenable as the basis for research and for the training of scholars and social actors. Science and Technology Studies is drawing the interest of ever-increasing numbers of students and faculty because of its unique ability to help people understand the complexity of contemporary and historical problems and because of its ability to help people craft intellectual projects and modes of engagement that reflect this complexity more fully. Several generations of innovative work in the philosophy, history, rhetoric, and social studies of science and technology have generated influential languages, platforms, and methods for understanding the interplay between science, technology, and social-political formations — domains that are too often treated separately. This virtue is being recognized and reflected in the growing interest in the field: Science and Technology Studies is one of the fastest growing areas in the social sciences and humanities, nationwide, and internationally.

Disciplinary lines and research landscapes are starting to shift in directions anticipated by Science and Technology Studies. National directives now encourage the participation of social scientists in engineering research; medical schools increasingly require applicants to train in the humanities; and emerging fields such as ‘green chemistry’ demand heterodox approaches to thinking about environmental and social parameters, the properties of chemical substances, and shifting industrial horizons. Meanwhile, cutting-edge work in the humanities and social sciences has made science and technology central to the humanistic project. For example, examining the past and future of the book, historical and contemporary foundations of race and racial identity, or ethical debates over biomedicine and the boundaries of the body. Indeed, the humanities and social sciences are recognized as key fields from which crucial questions about science and technology emerge, helping people understand when and why particular research programs become dominant, attending to the effects and implications of new technologies and knowledge, and placing ethical and social inquiries at the center of scientific enterprises. Science and Technology Studies organizes and galvanizes precisely these kinds inquiries and approaches.

Undergraduate Program

There is no undergraduate program in Science and Technology Studies.

Graduate Program

Science and Technology Studies: Designated Emphasis (DE)

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Courses

Science and Technology Studies

STS C100 Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015
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?

Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society: Read More [+]

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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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 Scheper-Hughes, Professor Emeritus. 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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Nancy A. Van House, Professor Emeritus. Digital libraries, science, information management, technology studies, knowledge communities, user needs, information tools, artifacts, participation of users.
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Contact Information

Graduate Group in Science and Technology Studies

543 Stephens Hall #2350

Phone: 510-642-4581

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Group Chair

David Winickoff, JD (Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management)

115 Giannini Hall

Phone: 510-643-0319

winickoff@berkeley.edu

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