Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attempts to increase understanding of the human-built world. In this world, science and technology have broken through the walls of industry and of the laboratory to become an inextricable and determining element of nature, culture, and history.
The STS Program was founded at MIT in 1976 to address this unprecedented and momentous integration of science, technology, and society. Faculty and students in the Program address two basic, interrelated questions: how did science and technology evolve as human activities, and what role do they play in the larger civilization? The STS perspective is crucial to understanding major events of our time (war and conflict, the economy, health, the environment) and to addressing these and other major public issues (privacy, democracy, education).
The STS Program is part of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS). In 1980 STS began to offer undergraduate subjects, which typically attract students with broad interests who seek an interdisciplinary approach to their education. Undergraduates can concentrate or minor in STS. While STS does not offer an independent major, students can join an STS program to any science or engineering major to form a joint major, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Humanities and Science or Humanities and Engineering. They can also double major in STS and a science or engineering discipline, receiving two B.S. degrees.
In 1988 STS joined MIT's Anthropology Program and History Faculty to offer a doctoral degree program in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS). Since then HASTS has developed into one of the world's preeminent graduate programs in STS-related studies. It attracts students from around the world who seek an interdisciplinary program that will prepare them for careers in the academy, law, business, journalism, and museum work, among other possibilities.
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