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STS 1101 : Science, Technology, and Politics
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
From global warming to surveillance of citizens to health-care reform, issues in science, technology, and medicine also are political issues. This course uses contemporary scientific controversies to explore the intersections of science and politics. Issues explored may include the role of the military and private sector in funding research, the politics of experts and expertise, computer privacy and national security, and environmental politics.
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STS 1117 : FWS: From Hiroshima to the Internet
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The seminar will explore the history of science, technology, and society in the United States during the Cold War.  Students will write about such themes as government funding, promotion, and regulation of new military and civilian technologies, gender and technology, the entwining of technology and politics, and the mutual relationship between technological change and social change.  Topics include nuclear weapons, the space race with the Soviets, the transformation of the social sciences, and the commercialization and further development of such military-funded information technologies as the personal computer, Internet and GPS by AT&T, IBM, Apple, Google, and other firms.
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STS 1123 : FWS: Technology and Society Topics
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar explores the ways in which Technology and Society shape one another and provides the opportunity to write extensively about this mutual shaping. Topics vary by section.
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STS 1123 : FWS: Technology and Society Topics
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar explores the ways in which Technology and Society shape one another and provides the opportunity to write extensively about this mutual shaping. Topics vary by section.
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STS 1126 : FWS: Science and Society Topics
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar explores the ways in which Science and Society shape one another and provides the opportunity to write extensively about this mutual shaping. Topics vary by section.
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STS 1201 : Information Ethics, Law, and Policy
Crosslisted as: INFO 1200 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course investigates the ethical, legal, and policy foundations of contemporary information technology.  Through lectures, readings, discussions, and short assignments, we will address contemporary challenges ranging from privacy in big data and social computing to the nature of innovation, property, and collaboration in a networked world.  We will cover key areas of technology law and policy such as telecommunications and network policy; concentration and antitrust; free speech and the first amendment; intellectual property; and privacy, security and freedom of information.  We will also address new ethical questions and controversies that law and policy has yet to sort out. Through this course you'll learn about the key frameworks, processes, and institutions that govern the contemporary world of technology, along with key theories and methods from the academic fields that shape and inform them (law, philosophy, economics, political science, communication, sociology, etc.).  You'll also learn core writing and analytic skills central to success in the worlds of social science, law, policy, and many other settings.  But above all you'll learn to engage critically and strategically with the worlds of information and technology around you, deciding what kind of information consumer, user, and citizen YOU want to be.  
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STS 1941 : The History of Science in Europe: From the Ancient Legacy to Isaac Newton
Crosslisted as: BSOC 1941, HIST 1941 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
How did the approaches to knowledge of nature that developed in medieval and early-modern Europe create an enterprise that associated the practical manipulation of nature with scientific truth? This course surveys intellectual approaches to the natural world from the theologically-shaped institutions of the Middle Ages to the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. Ancient Greek authors such as Aristotle and Archimedes were used in diverse ways that came to usher in an era of European global expansion. By the late 17th century, a new kind of practically applicable science attempted to demonstrate Francis Bacon's famous claim that "knowledge is power." 
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STS 2011 : What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology
Crosslisted as: SOC 2100 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course introduces some central ideas in the field of S&TS. It is aimed at students from any background who are challenged to think more critically about what counts as scientific knowledge and why, and how science and technology intervene in the wider world. It also serves as an introduction to majors in Biology and Society or in Science and Technology Studies. The course mixes lectures, discussions, writing, and other activities. The discussion sections are an integral part of the course and attendance is required. A series of take-home written assignments and quizzes throughout the semester comprise the majority of the grade.
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STS 2051 : Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine
Crosslisted as: BSOC 2051 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In today's rapidly changing world of health and medicine, complex ethical issues arise in many contexts from the private, interpersonal interactions between doctor and patient to the broad, mass-mediated controversies that make medicine into headline news. This course examines ethical problems and policy issues that rise in contemporary medicine, health care, and biomedical research. Tools for ethical research are applied to a variety of topics and fundamental questions in bioethics. Perspectives from social science, history, and law also inform the course, which will consider ethical issues in their social and institutional context. We will explore problems that arise in a number of substantive areas, including the doctor-patient relationship, end-of-life decision making, distributive justice and health care, human experimentation, reproductive technology, public health, and human genetics. The course will also examine the relatively new field of bioethics itself, raising questions about what issues count as ethical ones and exploring the role of ethical expertise in contemporary societies.
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STS 2061 : Ethics and the Environment
Crosslisted as: BSOC 2061 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Politicians, scientists, and citizens worldwide face many environmental issues today, but they are neither simple nor straightforward. Moreover, there are many ways to understand how we have, do, and could value the environment from animal rights and wise use to deep ecology and ecofeminism. This class acquaints students with some of the challenging moral issues that arise in the context of environmental management and policy-making, both in the past and the present. Environmental concerns also highlight important economic, epistemological, legal, political, and social issues in assessing our moral obligations to nature as well as other humans. This course examines various perspectives expressed in both contemporary and historical debates over environmental ethics by exploring four central questions: What is nature? Who counts in environmental ethics? How do we know nature? Whose nature?
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BSOC 2201 : Society and Natural Resources
Crosslisted as: DSOC 2201, NTRES 2201 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
The actions of people are crucial to environmental well-being. This course addresses the interrelationships between social phenomena and the natural (i.e., biophysical) environment. It is intended to (1) increase student awareness of these interconnections in their everyday lives; (2) introduce students to a variety of social science perspectives, including sociology, economics, psychology, and political science, that help us make sense of these connections; (3) identify the contributions of each of these perspectives to our understanding of environmental problems; and (4) discuss how natural resource management and environmental policy reflect these perspectives.
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BSOC 2350 : Literature and Medicine
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2350, FGSS 2350, LGBT 2350 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
How does literary language depict the experience of physical suffering? Can a poem or a novel palliate pain, illness, even the possibility of death? From darkly comic narratives of black plague to the rise and fall of hysteria to depictions of the AIDS crisis, this course examines literature centered on medical practices from the early modern period through the twentieth century. Why have medical practices changed, and how do writers address their political, social, and ideological implications? Readings will include a broad range of genres, including poetry (Dickinson, Whitman, Keats), fiction (McEwan, Chekhov, Gilman, Kafka, Camus), theater (Kushner), nonfiction prose (Woolf, Freud), and critical theory (Foucault, Scarry, Canguilhem, Sontag).
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STS 2451 : Introduction to Bioethics
Crosslisted as: PHIL 2455 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Bioethics is the study of ethical problems brought about by advances in the medical field.  Questions we'll discuss may include:  Is it morally permissible to advance a patient's death, at his or her request, to reduce suffering?  Is there a moral dilemma between killing someone and letting someone die?  What ethical issues are raised by advance care planning?  How should the rights of pregnant women be balanced against those of the fetus?  What constitutes informed consent?  Should medical treatment ever be compulsory?  Should parents be given control over the genetic make-up of their children?  Are some forms of human enhancement morally troubling?  Should we aim to be better than well?  How should scarce health care resources or costly therapies be allocated to those in need?  Should organ sales be permitted?  Should doctors or hospitals be permitted to refuse to provide certain medical services that violate their consciences?
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STS 2468 : Medicine, Culture, and Society
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2468, BSOC 2468, FGSS 2468 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Medicine has become the language and practice through which we address a broad range of both individual and societal complaints. Interest in this "medicalization of life" may be one of the reasons that medical anthropology is currently the fastest-growing subfield in anthropology. This course encourages students to examine concepts of disease, suffering, health, and well-being in their immediate experience and beyond. In the process, students will gain a working knowledge of ecological, critical, phenomenological, and applied approaches used by medical anthropologists. We will investigate what is involved in becoming a doctor, the sociality of medicines, controversies over new medical technologies, and the politics of medical knowledge. The universality of biomedicine (or hospital medicine) will not be taken for granted, but rather we will examine the plurality generated by the various political, economic, social, and ethical demands under which biomedicine has developed in different places and at different times. In addition, biomedical healing and expertise will be viewed in relation to other kinds of healing and expertise. Our readings will address medicine in North America as well as other parts of the world. In class, our discussions will return regularly to consider the broad diversity of kinds of medicine throughout the world, as well as the specific historical and local contexts of biomedicine.
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STS 2470 : Digital Latinxs
Crosslisted as: AMST 2470, LSP 2470 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
STS 2751 : Ethical Issues in Intelligent Autonomous Systems
Crosslisted as: ECE 2750, ENGRG 2750, INFO 2750 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
As technologies and algorithms that can autonomously take in information, make decisions, and act on those decisions become more and more prevalent, questions arise as to the moral and ethical aspects of their interactions with people and society. What are the philosophical foundations for a new Robot Ethics? Topics covered include social and therapeutic robotics, search and rescue, surveillance, military decision making, financial markets, robot artists, robot scientists, automation, medical robotics, policing, robot smog, and attention dilution.
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STS 2841 : Viruses- Humans-Viral Politics (Social History and Cultural Politics of HIV & AIDS)
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2021, BSOC 2841, FGSS 2841, LGBT 2841 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course explores what has been termed "the modern plague."  It investigates the social history, cultural politics, biological processes, and global impacts of the retrovirus, HIV, and the disease syndrome, AIDS. It engages material from multiple fields: life sciences, social sciences, & humanities as well as media reports, government documents, activist art, and community-based documentaries. It explores various meanings and life-experiences of HIV & AIDS; examines conflicting understandings of health, disease, the body; investigates political struggles over scientific research, biomedical & public health interventions, and cultural representations; and queries how HIV vulnerability is shaped by systems of power and inequality. As well, we come to learn about the practices, the politics, and the ethics of life and care that arise in "the age of epidemic."
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STS 2851 : Communication, Environment, Science, and Health
Crosslisted as: COMM 2850 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Environmental problems, public health issues, scientific research-in each of these areas, communication plays a fundamental role. From the media to individual conversations, from technical journals to textbooks, from lab notes to the web, communication helps define scientifically based social issues and research findings. This course examines the institutional and intellectual contexts, processes, and practical constraints on communication in the sciences.
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STS 2871 : Evolution
Crosslisted as: BIOEE 2070 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Evolution is the central concept in biology. This course examines evolution as a science and places it in an historical context. Lectures focus on descent with modification, the nature of natural selection, the history of the earth, the information content of the fossil record, and processes responsible for diversification (speciation and extinction). The science of evolutionary biology is presented in the context of a broader history of ideas in science. The course also explores the importance of evolutionary thinking in the 21st century, including discussion of antibiotic and pesticide resistance, personalized genomics, climate change, and the conflict between creationists and evolutionists.
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STS 3011 : Life Sciences and Society
Crosslisted as: BSOC 3011 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Biology and biotechnology are major influences on modern life. In addition, socio-political and historical conditions have shaped biological research and its applications in medicine, agriculture, environmental science, etc. Life science research is itself a social process involving complex human dynamics, different kinds of work and an array of social and natural systems. The course aims to introduce students to critical science and technology studies (S&TS) perspectives on the knowledge and practices of life sciences. The course is designed to prepare students for more advanced courses in the Biology & Society and S&TS majors, but students who do not plan to take further courses in those subjects can get critical insight into biology's profound role in both science and society.
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STS 3020 : Science Writing for the Media
Crosslisted as: COMM 3020 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
How to write about science, technology, and medicine for the media. Writing assignments focus on writing news for web sites, blogs, magazines, and other media.
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STS 3111 : Sociology of Medicine
Crosslisted as: BSOC 3111, DSOC 3111, SOC 3130 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course provides an introduction to the ways in which medical practice, the medical profession, and medical technology are embedded in society and culture. We will ask how medicine is connected to various sociocultural factors such as gender, social class, race, and administrative cultures. We will examine the rise of medical sociology as a discipline, the professionalization of medicine, and processes of medicalization and demedicalization. We will look at alternative medical practices and how they differ from and converge with the dominant medical paradigm. We will focus on the rise of medical technology in clinical practice with a special emphases on reproductive technologies. We will focus on the body as a site for medical knowledge, including the medicalization of sex differences, the effect of culture on nutrition, and eating disorders such as obesity and anorexia nervosa. We will also read various classic and contemporary texts that speak to the illness experience and the culture of surgeons, hospitals, and patients, and we will discuss various case studies in the social construction of physical and mental illness.
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STS 3231 : Global Health Security and Diplomacy
Crosslisted as: BSOC 3231 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course analyzes the development of foreign policy at the nexus of global health and national security in an attempt to better define and understand the evolving concept of "Global Health Security and Diplomacy". Interdisciplinary in nature, the course covers a broad set of themes and their intersection, including science and technology policy, biodefense and counter terrorism, gender disparity and development, nonproliferation, food security, global health, and U.S. diplomacy. Emphasis is placed on the current U.S. administration's efforts to advance a national security and foreign policy agenda inclusive of global grand challenges. We will also pay particular attention to understanding to the role of non-governmental organizations in global health security.
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STS 3241 : Environmental Sociology
Crosslisted as: DSOC 3240, SOC 3240 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Humans have fraught relationships with the animals, plants, land, water—even geological processes—around us. We come together to revere, conserve, protect the things many call nature. We struggle over who gets to use what, which resources to use or to keep intact, which scientific claims are true and worthy of action. Every environmental concern is on some level a social concern, and more social concerns than we often realize are environmental concerns. In this course, we will examine how people make and respond to environmental change and how groups of people form, express, fight over, and work out environmental concerns. We will consider how population change, economic activity, government action, social movements, and changing ways of thinking shape human-environmental relationships. The fundamental goal of this course is to give you knowledge, analytical tools, and expressive skills that make you confident to address environmental concerns as a social scientist and a citizen. 
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STS 3311 : Environmental Governance
Crosslisted as: BSOC 3311, DSOC 3311, NTRES 3311 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Environmental governance is defined as the assemblage of institutions that regulate society-nature interactions and shape environmental outcomes across a range of spatial and temporal scales.  Institutions, broadly defined, are mechanisms of social coordination including laws (formal) and social norms (informal) that guide the behavior of individuals.  Participants in the course will explore the roles of governments, markets, and collective action in environmental management and mismanagement. We will emphasize interactions among leading environmental policy strategies: public regulation, market-based incentives, and community-based resource management. The course is focused around a set of analytic perspectives.  These theoretical frameworks allow us to synthesize empirical observations and material changes in ways that inform our understanding of contemporary evolution of environmental policy and management.
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STS 3561 : Computing Cultures
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3061, COMM 3560, INFO 3561, VISST 3560 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Computers are powerful tools for working, playing, thinking, and living. Laptops, PDAs, webcams, cell phones, and iPods are not just devices, they also provide narratives, metaphors, and ways of seeing the world. This course critically examines how computing technology and society shape each other and how this plays out in our everyday lives. Identifies how computers, networks, and information technologies reproduce, reinforce, and rework existing cultural trends, norms, and values. Looks at the values embodied in the cultures of computing and considers alternative ways to imagine, build, and work with information technologies.
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STS 3601 : Ethical Issues in Engineering Practice
Crosslisted as: ECE 3600, ENGRG 3600 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Studies ethical issues involved in engineering practice. Explores the engineer's role in technical decision-making in organizations. Considers the engineer's relationship to the uses of technology in society, especially emerging technologies. Case studies covered include the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Space Shuttle Columbia, The Macondo Well Blowout, The Ford Pinto Case, The VW Emissions scandal, the Tesla Automatic Driving accident, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the Bhopal case, among others. Technology topics considered include brain-machine interface, human enhancement, genetic engineering, intelligent autonomous systems, privacy and surveillance, energy technologies, and environmental issues, among others. Codes of ethics in engineering, ethical theory, philosophical models of knowledge production, and sociological models of human and technological agency are introduced to analyze these issues.
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STS 3651 : Freud and the Invention of Psychoanalysis
Crosslisted as: COML 3781, FGSS 3651, FREN 3560, GERST 3561, ROMS 3560 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
STS 3719 : The Jewish Life of DNA
Crosslisted as: AMST 3719, JWST 3719, RELST 3719 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course will explore the relationship between DNA and Jewish life. We will conceive of Jews and Judaism broadly, in terms of religious, ethnic, and national discourses as we consider theories of kinship and nationalism, definitions of ethnicity and race, the "molecularization" of human life, the use of DNA as a spiritual metaphor, the ethics of "playing God" through biomedicine, and imaginations of utopian and dystopian futures. The entangled social, political, economic, legal, metaphorical, and theological questions that DNA has raised during the twentieth century will serve as a lens to fundamental issues in Jewish Studies and Science and Technology Studies about the nature of Jewish identity and about the social and political elements of knowledge production, respectively. Our readings will combine scholarly texts with a range of primary sources, while our classroom discussions will include guest lectures by scholars from Molecular Biology and other relevant fields to discuss the religious and social implications of their research. 
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BSOC 3751 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Projects under the direction of a Biology and Society faculty member are encouraged as part of the program of study within the student's concentration area. Applications for research projects are accepted by individual faculty members. Students may enroll for 1 to 4 credits in BSOC 3751 Independent Study with written permission of the faculty supervisor and may elect either the letter grade or the S-U option. Students may elect to do an independent study project as an alternative to, or in advance of, an honors project. Information on faculty research, scholarly activities, and undergraduate opportunities are available in the Biology and Society Office, 303 Morrill Hall. Independent study credits may not be used in completion of the major requirements.
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STS 3991 : Undergraduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Applications for research projects are accepted by individual STS faculty members. Students may enroll for 1–4 credits in STS 3991 with written permission of the faculty supervisor and may elect either the letter grade or the S–U option. Information on faculty research, scholarly activities, and undergraduate opportunities are available in the Science & Technology Studies office, 303 Morrill Hall. Independent study credits may not be used in completion of the major requirements.
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STS 3991 : Undergraduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Applications for research projects are accepted by individual STS faculty members. Students may enroll for 1–4 credits in STS 3991 with written permission of the faculty supervisor and may elect either the letter grade or the S–U option. Information on faculty research, scholarly activities, and undergraduate opportunities are available in the Science & Technology Studies office, 303 Morrill Hall. Independent study credits may not be used in completion of the major requirements.
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STS 4101 : The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4101, BSOC 4101 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
One animal behaviorist speculates that big brains develop when species are social; that is, when they must read cues from members of their group to understand when to approach, when to flee, when to fight, when to care. This course looks not only at animals in their social lives, but also at animals in their lives with us. We ask questions about how species become entangled and what that means for both parties, about the social lives of animals independently and with humans, about the survival of human and animal species, and about what it means to use animals for science, food, and profit. The course draws on readings from Anthropology, Science & Technology Studies, and animal trainers and behaviorists.
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STS 4120 : Scientific Revolution in Early - Modern Europe
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4121, HIST 4120 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Modern science is often seen as having been originally developed in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Copernicus, who set the Earth in motion around the sun in the early 16th century, and Newton, who made the universe an infinite expanse filled with gravitational attractive forces, at the end of the 17th, frame this crucial period of European expansion. The new universe was invented at the same time as the discovery and exploitation of the New World and the establishment of new trading relationships with the East. This course, a weekly 400-level seminar, examines the new ideas and approaches to nature promoted by European philosophers and mathematicians as part of this outward-looking enterprise aimed at the practical command of the world. We will read works by such people as Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and others, as well as important secondary literature, in order to understand how European thought attempted to integrate nature, God, and the state into new ways of making usable knowledge of the world.
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STS 4240 : Designing Technology for Social Impact
Crosslisted as: INFO 4240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The social impact of technologies is typically thought about fairly late, if ever, in the design process. Indeed, it can be difficult at design time to predict what effects technologies will have. Nevertheless, design decisions can inadvertently "lock in" particular values early on. In this course, we will draw on science & technology studies, technology design, and the arts to analyze the values embodied in technology design and to design technologies to promote positive social impact. What social and cultural values do technology designs consciously or unconsciously promote? To what degree can social impact be "built into" a technology? How can we take social and cultural values into account in design?
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STS 4301 : Social Studies of Space, Technologies and Borders
Crosslisted as: DSOC 4301, GOVT 4807 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In this course we will discuss how society, culture and politics shape technological artifacts and the natural and built environment, such as bridges, roads, and landscapes in diverse cultural contexts. We will examine reasons for the rise in bordering mechanisms - ranging from walls, barriers to fences within cities as well as along national borders, in such countries such as Ireland, Korea, Germany, the US, and Israel. We will compare how such 'strategies of exclusion' impact local communities, transnational relations and social connectivity across such divides. We will also examine how the growth of gated communities has reconfigured urban spaces and given rise to new forms of spatial and social segregation.
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STS 4451 : Making Science Policy: The Real World
Crosslisted as: GOVT 4451 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course focuses on what happens when science meet the policy-making world. We will discuss theoretical and empirical studies in Science & Technology Studies that analyze the interactions between science, society and politics. We will specifically investigate the mechanisms by which science may impact policy-making by focusing on: the rise of science diplomacy, initiatives to use science in order to further development goals, and efforts to produce evidence-based foreign policy. We will also focus on currently hotly debated political issues in government affairs, including the politization and militarization of space, the rise of big data, the politics of climate change, and the construction of border walls. As part of this course we will hear from experts in the federal government on how they attempt to integrate science into the everyday workings of governance.
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STS 4470 : Data Bodies: Latinx Art and Politics
Crosslisted as: AMST 4470, LSP 4470 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
STS 4511 : Topics in Media Arts
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4151, ARTH 6151, STS 6511, VISST 4151, VISST 6151 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Topic for Fall 2018: Biological Art (Bio Art): From the late 20th-century to the present, artists have made art using live entities including plants, animals, cells, tissue cultures and bacteria. They have designed habitats, crops, body organs, created new species and attempted to salvage extinct ones. Some artists also have produced works in traditional media such as painting, sculpture and photography. While artists always have imaged and sometimes directly engaged with aspects of the natural world in their art, bio art responds to recent developments in genetics and information technologies. Because of its foundation on the life sciences this art entails significant ethical and political dimensions. In this seminar students will explore multiple areas of bio art with attention to pertinent artistic and critical literature and to the scientific practices in which the works are based. For this purpose the class will consult with specialists and visit laboratories on campus relevant to the art covered in the course. We expect these interdisciplinary investigations to prepare students for a grounded assessment of bio art.
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STS 4541 : Risk and Society
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Hurricanes. Guns. Zika. Contaminated food. Climate change. Hazardous chemicals. Accidents. Cyber warfare. We live in a hazardous world of uncertainty, surrounded by claims about risks, some sounding the alarm, some seeking to reassure. Scientists, engineers, and managers try to measure and model the risks embedded in complex systems, hoping to improve our understanding and guide decisions. This seminar will consider risk from the perspective of the social sciences. How do individuals, organizations, and societies produce knowledge about hazards? How do they decide which threats deserve their attention? How do conflicting viewpoints about risk shape technology and politics? We will examine controversies in public health, disaster management, medicine, finance, emerging technologies, and the environment. The central theme of the course will be a social investigation of how natural and social sciences have approached the problem of risk.
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STS 4561 : Stars, Scores, and Rankings: Evaluation and Society
Crosslisted as: INFO 4561, SOC 4560 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Evaluation is a pervasive feature of contemporary life. Professors, doctors, countries, hotels, pollution, books, intelligence: there is hardly anything that is not subject to some form of review, rating, or ranking these days. This senior seminar examines the practices, cultures, and technologies of evaluation and asks how value is established, maintained, compared, subverted, resisted, and institutionalized in a range of different settings. Topics include user reviews, institutional audit, ranking and commensuration, algorithmic evaluation, tasting, gossip, and awards. Drawing on case studies from science, technology, culture, accounting, art, environment, and everyday life, we shall explore how evaluation comes to order our lives – and why it is so difficult to resist.
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STS 4634 : Curating the British Empire
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4720, ARTH 6720, BSOC 4634, HIST 4634, HIST 6634, SHUM 4634, SHUM 6634, STS 6634 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
During Europe's colonial era, the modern museum emerged as a site of cultural and scientific authority. This course investigates the history of imperial collections and collectors, with a focus on Britain and the East India Company in the nineteenth century. Examples of topics include: the "supply chain" for artifacts and knowledge resources; changing conceptions of intellectual property, ownership and access; household versus public versus for-profit collections; museums and the narration of social values and cultural identities; debates over the function or aims of museums and related institutions; the collections and the administration of the empire; the collections and the growth of the sciences; the postcolonial legacies of colonial collections.
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STS 4650 : Advanced Topics in Clinical Ethics
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4650 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This is an advanced course in biomedical ethics.  Students will use their knowledge and analytical skills to explore complex value-laden issues in contemporary healthcare and health policy debate.  Current stories in the news and case studies will springboard discussion around topics such as the changing professional-patient relationship, evolving care delivery systems, decision-making at the beginning and the end of life, emerging biomedical technologies, and the healthcare experience of marginalized and vulnerable populations.  Discussions will also emphasize the importance of contextual issues and vantage point in creating and resolving disputes at both the individual and societal levels, as well as the interconnections between bedside ethical dilemmas and broader health system, health policy, and sociocultural/political issues. Readings will be selected from the popular press and healthcare, ethics, social science, and law literatures.
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STS 4661 : Public Communication of Science and Technology
Crosslisted as: COMM 4660 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Explores the structure, meanings, and implications of "public communication of science and technology" (PCST). Examines the contexts in which PCST occurs, looks at motivations and constraints of those involved in producing information about science for nonprofessional audiences, and analyzes the functions of PCST. Ties existing ideas about PCST to general communication research, and leads to developing new knowledge about PCST. Format is primarily seminar/discussion.
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STS 4721 : Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4721, GOVT 4723, JWST 4721, NES 4721 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course focuses on issues of conflict, peace, and reconciliation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Both regions exemplify how issues ranging from nationalism and ethnocentrism to land, water and resource management, climate change and migration, as well as socio-psychological dynamics, can exacerbate conflicts. At the same time, these regions also exemplify how trans-border collaboration and regional integration, civilian peace building efforts, strategies for achieving historical justice, as well as science education and science diplomacy can become crucial tools for long-term peace-building, reconciliation and development. In this course we will work with and discuss issues of peace and conflict with policy-makers and local stakeholders involved in peace-building efforts.
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STS 4801 : Water Societies: Ecology, Technology, History
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4801 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course offers conceptual and analytical tools to study environment-society relations with a focus on water. We will confront water from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, examining different—and often less common and discriminated against—points of view and weaving together different perspectives from our readings, discussions, fieldtrips, guest lectures, and encounters around and about water. To this goal, we will engage with water from both a local and a global perspective: immersing ourselves in how several specific societies have interacted with water, we will compose and compare these representations. We will also encounter the closest possible water, that of Ithaca and surroundings: during the course we will conduct several fieldtrips, and, as a course project, each student will conduct a semester-long individual ethnographic project.
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STS 4841 : What is (an) Epidemic? (Infectious Diseases in Historical, Social, and Political Perspective)
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4041, BSOC 4841, FGSS 4841 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The term "epidemic" travels widely and wildly in contemporary worlds.  But, what, when and where is "the epidemic"? How and why does epidemic unfold? This senior seminar offers an interdisciplinary exploration of infectious diseases.  Our investigations take us from medieval Europe's "Black Plague," to Tuberculosis in early twentieth century United States and its global resurgence at the turn of the twenty-first, to Ebola and its ongoing, periodic outbreaks today. We consider the consequences epidemics have for how we live and imagine shared ecological futures.  Examining work from the life sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities, we explore the ways in which life and death, disease and survivability, health and thriving are shaped by infectious microbes, embodied eco-social forces, and contingent regimes of knowledge-power. 
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STS 4911 : Vitality and Power in China
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 4429, BSOC 4911, CAPS 4931, HIST 4931, HIST 6931, RELST 4931 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Chinese discourses have long linked the circulation of cosmic energies, political power, and bodily vitalities. In these models political order, spiritual cultivation, and health are achieved and enhanced through harmonizing these flows across the levels of Heaven-and-Earth, state, and humankind. It is when these movements are blocked or out of synchrony that we find disordered climates, societies, and illness. In this course, we will examine the historical emergence and development of these models of politically resonant persons and bodily centered polities, reading across primary texts in translation from these otherwise often separated fields. For alternate frameworks of analysis as well as for comparative perspectives, we will also examine theories of power and embodiment from other cultures, including recent scholarship in anthropology and critical theory.
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STS 4991 : Honors Project I
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4991 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Students must register for 4 credits each semester (4991-4992) for a total of 8 credits. After the first semester, students receive a letter grade of "R"; a letter grade for both semesters is submitted at the end of the second semester whether or not the student completes a thesis or is recommended for honors. Minimally, an honors thesis outline and bibliography should be completed during the first semester. In consultation with the advisors, the director of undergraduate studies will evaluate whether the student should continue working on an honors project. Students should note that these courses are to be taken in addition to those courses that meet the regular major requirements. If students do not complete the second semester of the honors project, they must change the first semester to independent study to clear the "R" and receive a grade. Otherwise, the "R" will remain on their record and prevent them from graduating.
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STS 4992 : Honors Project II
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4992 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Students must register for the 4 credits each semester (BSOC 4991-BSOC 4992) for a total of 8 credits. After the first semester, students receive a letter grade of "R"; a letter grade for both semesters is submitted at the end of the second semester whether or not the student completes a thesis or is recommended for honors. Minimally, an honors thesis outline and bibliography should be completed during the first semester. In consultation with the advisors, the director of undergraduate studies will evaluate whether the student should continue working on an honors project. Students should note that these courses are to be taken in addition to those courses that meet the regular major requirements. If students do not complete the second semester of the honors project, they must change the first semester to independent  study to clear the "R" and receive a grade. Otherwise, the "R" will remain on their record and prevent them from graduating.
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STS 6020 : Digitizing Development
Crosslisted as: DSOC 6020 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
STS 6131 : Posthumanism, Cybernetics, Systems Theory
Crosslisted as: COML 6186, GERST 6315 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This graduate course is dedicated to an in-depth exploration of the recent emergence of Posthumanism as a new theoretical paradigm in cultural and literary studies. Hardly a unified theory, Posthumanism draws on a wide variety of precursors and inspirations—in the natural sciences, the philosophy and history of science, the social sciences, and different theory paradigms in the humanities. They all have in common the intention of transcending a worldview that is exclusively premised on human needs and measures. Thus, posthumanist theorizing in the widest sense includes many recent additions to the critical canon, such as eco-criticism and animal studies. It is the underlying hypothesis of this course that much posthumanist thinking is recapitulating—consciously or unconsciously—many of the insights of cybernetics and systems theory, and that tracking this genealogy helps in clarifying the stakes and challenges of posthumanist theory.
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STS 6301 : Social Theory
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Sociologist C. Wright Mills challenged his readers to develop their "sociological imagination" to understand the social and historical forces at work in seemingly individual events, such as the receipt of a pink slip, a draft card, or a drug prescription. Within science and technology studies, scholars have documented how social issues can become scientific, technological, or medical, often appearing to leave the social realm naturalized, normalized, or pathologized. This course introduces graduate students to classic texts and concepts in social theory with a focus on how scholars apply such theories to empirical research. It will consider major thinkers and schools of social thought, such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mannheim, Foucault, and the Frankfurt School. It will also consider how a nuanced interplay of theory and empirical data can bring critically important insights to both theoretical and empirical understandings of the world. The course is relevant for students in sociology, history, and anthropology who are interested in social theory.
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STS 6311 : Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science
Crosslisted as: SOC 6310 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
In this Graduate seminar we will discuss the nature, politics and basic assumptions underlying qualitative research. We will examine a selection of qualitative methods ranging from interviewing, oral history, ethnography, participant observation, archival research and visual methods. We will also discuss the relationship between theory and method. All stages of a research project will be discussed - choice of research topic and appropriate methods; human subject concerns and permissions; issues regarding doing research; as well as the process of writing up and publishing research findings.
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STS 6321 : Inside Technology
Crosslisted as: SOC 6320 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Rather than analyze the social impact of technology upon society, this course investigates how society gets inside technology. In other words, is it possible that the very design of technologies embody assumptions about the nature of society? And, if so, are alternative technologies, which embody different assumptions about society, possible? Do engineers have implicit theories about society? Is technology gendered? How can we understand the interaction of society and technology? Throughout the course the arguments are illustrated by detailed examinations of particular technologies, such as the ballistic missile, the bicycle, the electric car, and the refrigerator.
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STS 6511 : Topics in Media Arts
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4151, ARTH 6151, STS 4511, VISST 4151, VISST 6151 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Seminar topics rotate each semester.
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STS 6634 : Curating the British Empire
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4720, ARTH 6720, BSOC 4634, HIST 4634, HIST 6634, SHUM 4634, SHUM 6634, STS 4634 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
During Europe's colonial era, the modern museum emerged as a site of cultural and scientific authority. This course investigates the history of imperial collections and collectors, with a focus on Britain and the East India Company in the nineteenth century. Examples of topics include: the "supply chain" for artifacts and knowledge resources; changing conceptions of intellectual property, ownership and access; household versus public versus for-profit collections; museums and the narration of social values and cultural identities; debates over the function or aims of museums and related institutions; the collections and the administration of the empire; the collections and the growth of the sciences; the postcolonial legacies of colonial collections.
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STS 6902 : Environmental Humanities: Theories and Methods
Crosslisted as: COML 6902 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Designed for an interdisciplinary audience, this seminar explores the theoretical and methodological potentials of a broad range of scholarship in the environmental humanities. Together we will discuss a number of foundational texts in this rapidly emerging field, which will in turn facilitate and develop students' own research projects. The course will feature visits from prominent scholars and end with a mini-symposium.
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STS 6991 : Graduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Applications and information are available in 303 Morrill Hall.
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STS 6991 : Graduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Applications and information are available in 303 Morrill Hall.
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STS 7003 : Special Topic 3: Issues in the Cultural History of Technology
Crosslisted as: HIST 7000 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The special topic for this semester's seminar is The History of Digitalization.  We will read mostly secondary sources on the transition from analog to digital forms of electronic media, focusing on the United States.   We begin with the (digital) telegraph system of the 19th century as a reminder that the historical arc we are studying ran from digital to analog to digital (not simply analog to digital).  We then consider the analog telephone system and analog computing of the early to mid-20th century, before spending the remainder of the course on the digitization of communications, computation, and the media from World War II to the present.  We consider the social, cultural, political, and economic, aspects of the construction and use of these technologies.
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STS 7111 : Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
Crosslisted as: HIST 7110 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Provides students with a foundation in the field of science and technology studies. Using classic works as well as contemporary exemplars, seminar participants chart the terrain of this new field. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to, historiography of science and technology and their relation to social studies of science and technology, laboratory studies, intellectual property, science and the state, the role of instruments, fieldwork, politics and technical knowledge, philosophy of science, sociological studies of science and technology, and popularization.
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STS 7201 : Studying Emerging Technologies
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will examine the peculiar speculative world of emerging technologies-a social and technical "space," found at the edges of expanding technological systems, where new technologies are being most actively constructed and transformed. In this dynamic world, emerging technologies exist in a state of flux as a mixture of blueprint and hardware, plan and practice, the nearly on-line and the almost obsolete, surrounded by speculation and speculators, who make often-contested claims about their promises, perils, and possibilities. Among the characteristics of this space are:  the frequent appearance of unverifiable claims about technologies that have yet to materialize; an entrepreneurial drive for commercial implementation; ongoing institutional innovation; frequent public controversies; and problems of political legitimacy. The course will examine the epistemic, discursive, institutional, and political dimensions of emerging technologies in an effort to understand the social worlds that shape technological change. Open to graduate students in the social sciences, sciences, and humanities.
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STS 7937 : Proseminar in Peace Studies
Crosslisted as: GOVT 7937, HIST 7937 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
The Proseminar in Peace Studies offers a multidisciplinary review of issues related to peace and conflict at the graduate level. The course is led by the director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and is based on the Institute's weekly seminar series, featuring outside visitors and Cornell faculty. 
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