Science, technology and society (STS) is an interdisciplinary field that studies the conditions under which the production, distribution and utilization of scientific knowledge and technological systems occur and traces the consequences of these activities upon different groups of people. The intercollegiate program brings together courses taught in a variety of departments, and is divided into three principal disciplinary areas that are applied to science and technology: history, philosophy and social science (anthropology and public policy analysis). Courses explore the effects of science and technology on society and culture, and vice versa. General topics include the politics of socio-technical systems; analysis of scientific methodology in terms of objectivity and rationality; the social factors involved in producing scientific knowledge and technological change; moral and policy analysis of technological systems. More specifically, courses cover topics such as concepts of health, disease and disability; the political economy of pollution; the culture of the scientific laboratory; theories of race, eugenics and genetics engineering; and social networking and the Internet.
Students majoring in STS are well prepared to pursue graduate study in related fields and also have a solid foundation for work as science journalists, policy researchers and advisers, science educators, design and business consultants, and advocates of change around issues such as gender and science, renewable energy and the social effects of the information revolution. In addition, STS is an excellent academic background for students intending to pursue careers in medicine, law, business and education.
Pitzer advisers: G. Herrera, B. Keeley, J. Lorenat, D. Segal, S. Snowiss, A. Wachtel; A. Wakefield.