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Rebecca Slayton's book, "Arguments that Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense 1949-2012" (MIT Press, 2013), won the 2015 Computer History Museum Book Prize.

The prize is “awarded to the author of an outstanding book in the history of computing broadly conceived, published during the prior three years.” The prize citation reads: “Rebecca Slayton’s Arguments that Count advances the history of computing in several significant ways. Through careful, original research and clear writing, Slayton grants a wide audience access to the complex and highly controversial story of the role of computing in missile defense. Slayton’s book deftly unpacks the institutional and rhetorical aspects of arguments set forth by physicists and computer scientists as they wrangled over the feasibility of developing systems capable of stopping ICBMs. By demonstrating how scientists and computing experts crafted and sold their arguments justifying the development of risky, expensive technological solutions to geopolitical problems, this study yields insights that are relevant to the many other areas in which heavy investment in technological systems is championed as a solution to existential problem.”

Stephen Hilgartner's book "Science and Democracy: Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond" released in March 2015.

Professor Stephen Hilgartner's book, Science and Democracy: Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond, is out. The book, co-edited with Clark Miller and Rob Hagendijk, shows how new developments in science and the creation of new social orders go hand in hand. Contributors use the theoretical perspective of co-production to analyze cases in the life sciences, along with such topics as informatics, climate science, and international trade. Cases are drawn from number of countries (including Austria, Brazil, India, the E.U., and the U.S.) as well as from organizations involved in global governance. Book Details

S&TS Graduate Student, Chris Hesselbein, Receives John S. Knight Award

PhD Student Chris Hesselbein has won a John S. Knight Award for a writing exercise developed for his Fall 2014 First Year Writing Seminar on "Technology & Society: Living in a Technological World." In addition, two of Chris's students in the seminar have won awards for their course essays. Yiheng Huang won an Elmer Markham Johnson prize for an essay on "Sewage Systems in the United States: Tracking the History of a Mundane Artifact," and Linfeng Shen won an Adelphic Award honorable mention for an essay on the "Thalidomide Tragedy: How to Improve Animal Testing." 

S&TS Graduate Student, Danya Glabau, Receives Two Awards from Society of Medical Anthropology

S&TS graduate student, Danya Glabau, received two awards from the Society of Medical Anthropology. The first one is the Student Travel Award, awarded on the basis of the strength of her presentation abstract. The second is the SMA's Science, Technology, and Medicine section Graduate Paper Award, received for a standalone version of a chapter of her dissertation, titled "The Moral Life of Epinephrine."

Sara Pritchard Quoted Regarding Gender Bias in the Technology Industry

 Associate Professor Sara Pritchard was quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle in a story about gender bias in the technology industry. "Gender shapes technology, and at the same time our ideas about technology shape certain ideas about gender," Pritchard said. "We can't neatly parse out how one part shapes the other. Which is part of the reason why the solution is so difficult." See the whole story here.

Peter Dear's Article Named One of Isis' Five Most Influential Articles

Professor Peter Dear's article, "Totius in Verba: Rhetoric and Authority in the Early Royal Society," has been named one of the five most influential Isis articles ever published. Full Story.

S&TS Graduate Student, Yulianto (Anto) Mohsin, Wins Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

S&TS graduate student, Anto Mohsin, has received the Cornelia Ye Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for the important contributions he has made to enhancing undergraduate education at Cornell University. Full Story

Professor Sara Pritchard's new book "New Natures," released in June 2013

 New Natures broadens the dialogue between the disciplines of science and technology studies (STS) and environmental history in hopes of deepening and even transforming understandings of human-nature interactions. The volume presents historical studies that engage with key STS theories, offering models for how these theories can help crystallize central lessons from empirical histories, facilitate comparative analysis, and provide a language for complicated historical phenomena. Overall, the collection exemplifies the fruitfulness of cross-disciplinary thinking. Book details.

In The Lancet, Stephen Hilgartner and other STS scholars comment on the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences.

NAS: speaking the truth to power for 150 years. Full Story.

Leuenberger leaps genre barriers

Christine Leuenberger has been researching the cultural and economic impact of the separation barrier between Israel and Palestine for several years. She also wrote about living in Israel while it was under attack by Hamas in November 2012. Full Story.

War for beginners: Christine Leuenberger in Tel Aviv


Leuenberger, senior lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, was conducting research in Israel and the West Bank as a National Science Foundation Scholar Nov. 15, 2012, when bombs began to fall on Tel Aviv. That war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza lasted from Nov. 14-21. Full Story

In a NYT article, Trevor Pinch weighs in about Amazon reviews being used as attack weapons to "sink new books."

trevor pinch

 "Books used to die by being ignored, but now they can be killed — and perhaps unjustly killed," said Trevor Pinch, a Cornell sociologist who has studied Amazon reviews. "In theory, a very good book could be killed by a group of people for malicious reasons." Full New York Times Article

Vogel's book calls for new approach to assessing bioweapons threats


The horrifying terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the anthrax strikes that soon followed gave the United States new reason to fear unconventional enemies and atypical weapons. These fears have prompted extensive research, study and planning within the U.S. military, intelligence and policy communities regarding potential attacks involving biological weapons.

A new book, "Phantom Menace or Looming Danger? A New Framework for Assessing Bioweapons Threats" (The Johns Hopkins University Press), by Kathleen Vogel, associate professor in Cornell's Department of Science and Technology Studies, argues for a major shift in how analysts assess these and other bioweapons threats -- one that highlights how the U.S. analyses have failed in the past. Full Story

S&TS graduate student receives Fulbright-Hays Fellowship

 Congratulations to Tyson Vaughan, a graduate student in S&TS, who has received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship! This achievement was mentioned in the Cornell Chronicle Full Story

Leuenberger to Study Israel/Palestine 'Map Wars'

Christine Leuenberger, senior lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, has been awarded more than $150,000 from the National Science Foundation's Division of Social and Economic Sciences. The award will fund a project to investigate the political use of maps in a conflict zone and how maps become part of territorial claims-making. Full story

Trevor Pinch Expounds on the Sounds of Commerce

sound to ear

When we think of buying and selling, we usually think in terms of what we can see: money, material goods, electronic trading screens. "Sound is very much an afterthought," Trevor Pinch said Feb. 15 in the Society for the Humanities Annual Invitational Lecture.

But for Pinch, professor of science and technology studies and of sociology and author of the new book "The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies" (Oxford Unviersity Press, 2012), sound is anything but an afterthought. Full Story

Christine Leuenberger to develop interactive course in Israel


 Christine Leuenberger, senior lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, will return to Tel Aviv University's geography department this December for 42 days as a Fulbright specialist. Full Story

Hilgartner Tapped as Study Section Member with Center for Scientific Review


Stephen Hilgartner, chair and associate professor of science and technology studies, has been chosen to serve as a member of the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Human Genetics Study Section with the Center for Scientific Review. Membership on a study section represents an opportunity for participants to contribute to national biomedical research. Full Story

Ithaca's Trevor Pinch emerges as analog half of Electric Golem

Trevor Pinch

Showcased proudly in the center of his basement studio, Trevor Pinch's homemade synthesizer,"Stray Capacitance," is an artifact of the early days of electronic music as well as a testament to Pinch's manifold life and career. Full Story


S&TS and BSOC Information Fair

October 26 -27, 2016

Event Details (PDF)

Conference: Where Has STS Traveled?

October 27-28, 2016

Event Poster (PDF)

Program Schedule (PDF)