Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University


STS Circle at Harvard

The STS Circle at Harvard meets weekly during the academic semester. All Meetings will take place on Mondays, from 12:15–2 pm, at  Pierce 100F, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 29 Oxford Street unless otherwise noted. Sandwich lunches are provided. Please RSVP to by Thursday noon the week before.

STS Circle schedule poster

Fall 2016

Sep. 12:
Elise K. Burton (Middle Eastern Studies & History)
Accidents of Geography: Creating Genetic Cartographies of the Middle East
Sep. 19:
Jeremy Baskin (University of Melbourne, Political Science)
The Competing Imaginaries of Solar Geoengineering
Sep. 26:
Phil Brown (Northeastern University, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences)
Post-Belmont Research Ethics: Reporting Personal Exposure Data to Participants
Oct. 3:
Christopher Lawrence (Harvard, STS)
Normalization by Other Means: The Failed Techno-Diplomacy of Light Water Reactor Export to North Korea
Oct. 17:
Rachel Douglas-Jones (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Governance by Committee: Stem Cell Research Oversight and Deliberation in the USA
Oct. 24:
Scott Frickel (Brown, Sociology)
'Three Scientists Walk into a Barricade…' Expert mobilization in Two Boston-area Social Movements
Oct. 31:
Sunil Amrith (Harvard, History)
Coastal South Asia and the Technologies of Risk
Nov. 7:
Laura Martin (Harvard, HUCE)
Radiation and Restoration: The Politics of Ecological Care
Nov. 14:
Bettina Stoetzer (MIT, Global Studies and Languages))
Ruderal Ecologies: Re-Thinking Urban Infrastructure in a World of Rubble
Nov. 21:
Gökçe Gunel (Columbia University, Anthropology)
Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi
Nov. 28:
Jay D. Aronson (Carnegie Mellon, History)
The Promise and Peril of Human Rights Technology

» More information and past schedules

Science & Democracy Lecture Series

Once a semester, the STS Program, with co-sponsorship from other local institutions, hosts an installation in its Science and Democracy Lecture Series.

Rachel Kyte event poster

Rachel Kyte
With panel discussion by William ClarkHenry Lee, and Michael Mehling. Moderated by Sheila Jassanoff.
October 18, 2016, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Emerson Hall, Room 105, 25 Quincy Street

Last year, world leaders agreed to put their nations on a pathway to “well below 2°C” of global warming in order to meet the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). One of those goals – SDG #7 – calls for countries to secure affordable and clean energy for the 1.3 billion people still living in energy poverty by 2030. Now, an array of grassroots organizations are pushing leaders to adopt an "energy efficiency first" approach, putting access at the center of their energy plans. This approach calls for distributed energy solutions to help countries go further, faster toward closing the energy access gap. Kyte will discuss how the work of these organizations can accelerate the national energy plans that countries around the world are currently putting into action.

» Lecture series archive

Workshops and Panels

Cycles of Invention and Discovery event poster

Venkatesh Narayanamurti & Toluwalogo Odumosu
October 26, 2016, 4:30pm-6:15pm
Land Hall, 4th Floor, Belfer Building

Book Description: Cycles of Invention and Discovery offers an in-depth look at the real-world practice of science and engineering. It shows how the standard categories of “basic” and “applied” have become a hindrance to the organization of the U.S. science and technology enterprise. Tracing the history of these problematic categories, Venkatesh Narayanamurti and Toluwalogo Odumosu document how historical views of policy makers and scientists have led to the construction of science as a pure ideal on the one hand and of engineering as a practical (and inherently less prestigious) activity on the other. Even today, this erroneous but still widespread distinction forces these two endeavors into separate silos, misdirects billions of dollars, and thwarts progress in science and engineering research. The authors contrast this outmoded perspective with the lived experiences of researchers at major research laboratories. Using such Nobel Prize–winning examples as magnetic resonance imaging, the transistor, and the laser, they explore the daily micro-practices of research, showing how distinctions between the search for knowledge and creative problem solving break down when one pays attention to the ways in which pathbreaking research actually happens. By studying key contemporary research institutions, the authors highlight the importance of integrated research practices, contrasting these with models of research in the classic but still-influential report Science the Endless Frontier. Narayanamurti and Odumosu’s new model of the research ecosystem underscores that discovery and invention are often two sides of the same coin that moves innovation forward.

» Workshops and panels archive

Program news

We're pleased to announce that Sheila Jasanoff's latest book The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future will be out later this month. The book is now available for pre-order at Amazon and at the publisher's link.

A summary of our workshop "The Molecularization of Identity: Science and Subjectivity in the 21st Century," is now available in Genetics ResearchThe summary was written by workshop organizers, and past STS Fellows, Ian McGonigle and Ruha Benjamin

Sheila Jasanoff was recently featured on a University of Melbourne podcast on "Twin Engines of Truth? How Science and Law Interact to Construct our World."

We're pleased to announce this year's STS Undergraduate Prize Competition winners: Nicole Bassoff, Leah Singer, and Emma Woo! Watch videos where the winners discuss their work here.

Missed our April 20th Science and Democracy panel with Yaron Ezrahi, Andy Stirling, Shiv Visvanathan, and Jane Mansbridge on "The Elusive Demos: Democracy in the Digital Age?" The video is now available. 

April 29-30th, we hosted"The Molecularization of Identity: Science and Subjectivity in the 21st Century," co-organized by current and former fellows, Ruha Benjamin and Ian McGonigle.

Former STS Fellow S.M. Amadae recently published Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy

On Wednesday, April 20th, we hosted a panel discussion with Yaron Ezrahi, Andy Stirling, Shiv Visvanathan, and Jane Mansbridge on "The Elusive Demos: Democracy in the Digital Age. Watch this space for the video when it becomes available!

Calling all Harvard undergraduates: submit your paper or thesis chapter for consideration in our STS Undergraduate Prize CompetitionDeadline: April 8th.

Ian McGonigle, a current STS Fellow and Harvard, Anthropology/Middle Eastern Studies doctoral student, recently published " two articles in Genetics Research. Find them here and here.

» Program news archive