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Department of Science and Technology Studies

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University Science and Technology Studies

Biology & Society Major




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"Broadly, I am interested in better understanding Earth's physical and ecological systems, and advancing conservation methods in an age of rapid technological change and globalization.  My career interests range from ecological research to applied conservation to environmental planning to science writing.  Issues that have captured my attention recently are largely related to the marine environment; for example, the effect of plastic on open ocean ecology, climate change and ocean acidification, marine protected areas, and invasive species.  I am still very willing to pursue careers in a number of environmental fields and I am adaptable to a variety of work settings."

-2014 Biology & Society Alum


"Biology and Society is a unique major, unlike any I know of at other universities.  The variety of courses offered, as well as their applicability to real-world problems in science and medicine makes BSoc an excellent major for anyone interested in a career in science and/or sociology."

-2013 Biology & Society Alum

The Biology & Society Major

sts-bioThe Biology & Society Major is designed for students who wish to combine training in biology with perspectives from the social sciences and humanities on the social, political and ethical aspects of modern biology. Many of the most critical social concerns of our time -- food and population; impact of genetic engineering and new medical technologies; testing for drugs; AIDS and genes; the influence of heredity versus environment on human behavior; environmental quality; and ethical, legal and social aspects of modern medical practice -- are innately biological. At the same time, each of these issues is inherently a social concern and involves complex relations between biological and sociocultural forces. The Biology & Society major is intended to provide the skills and perspectives to enable its students to systematically confront these and many other social-biological issues. For a detailed description of the Major, see the section on Biology & Society in the Courses of Study.

Each student's program incorporating the requirements of the major is planned in consultation with a faculty member and is designed to accommodate individual goals and interests. Students who complete the requirements for the Biology & Society major leave Cornell with well-developed writing and analytical skills and with the ability to confront complex issues. Biology & Society graduates are thus equipped to enter a variety of careers. Students have found the Major is also excellent preparation for law, medicine, health services administration, and other professional schools and for graduate programs in genetic counseling, nutrition, clinical psychology, public health, environmental studies, anthropology, sociology or other related fields. Students have gone on to successful careers in the healthcare industry, legal profession, policymaking, scientific research, and many other exciting professions. 

Contact Information

Stacey Stone
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
The Biology & Society Major
Dept of Science & Technology Studies
303B Morrill Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853 USA
Telephone: (607) 255-6047

Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Professor Rachel Prentice (

Agriculture & Life Sciences Advising Coordinator:
Professor Randy Wayne (

Human Ecology Advising Coordinator:
Professor Margaret Frey (