Program on Science, Technology and Society 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 Room 100F, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford Street, unless otherwise noted. Sandwich lunches are provided. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday noon the week before.
Aaron Mauck (Harvard, History of Science)
Social Molecules: Biomarkers and the New Data Imaginary in Social Science Research
David Lazer (Note: This event will meet in Pound Hall 200 at the Harvard Law School) (Northeastern, Political Science, )
Computational Social Science: The Use of 'Big Data' to Study Human Behavior
The event will meet in Pound Hall 200 at the Harvard Law School
Angie Boyce (Harvard, Robert Wood Johnson Fellow)
Chicken, Egg, or Cook? Foodborne Salmonellosis and Distributed Responsibility
Benjamin Morris (MIT, Catalyst Collaborative)
Science/Fiction: Dramatic Arts as a Medium for Translating Science
Scott Podolsky (Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital)
Antimicrobials and Public Health: From Serotherapy to Antibiotics (and Back)
Venkatesh Narayanamurti (Harvard, SEAS)
Bridging the Basic-Applied Dichotomy and the Cycle of Discovery and Invention
Zoe Nyssa (Harvard, HUCE/STS Fellow)
Ecologies of Paradox: A Typology of Scientific Surprise in the Anthropocene
Richard Rottenburg (University of Halle, Anthropology)
Emerging “Global Health” Institutions in Africa: Technologies and Significations
Naor Ben-Yehoyada (Harvard, Center for Middle Eastern Studies)
'I can feel the mafia but I can’t see it': An Anthropology of Forensic Knowledge
Heather Paxson (MIT, Anthropology)
Regulating Microbial Ecologies: Policy and Practice in Artisanal Cheesemaking
Canay Özden-Schilling (MIT, HASTS)
Economics Inside the Grid: Smart Grids, Power Systems Engineering, and Emergent Markets
Zara Mirmalek (Harvard, STS Fellow)
Democracy and the Deep-Sea: Telepresence and Public Participation in Remote Environments
Once a semester, the STS Program, with co-sponsorship from other local institutions, hosts an installation in its Science and Democracy Lecture Series.
Our Earth is 45 million centuries old. But this century is the first when one species ours can determine the biosphere's fate. Threats from the collective "footprint" of 9 billion people seeking food, resources and energy are widely discussed. But less well studied is the potential vulnerability of our globally-linked society to the unintended consequences of powerful technologies not only nuclear, but (even more) biotech, advanced AI, geo-engineering and so forth. These are advancing fast, and bring with them great hopes, but also great fears. They will present new threats more diverse and more intractable than nuclear weapons have done. More expertise is needed to assess which long-term threats are credible, versus which will stay science fiction, and to explore how to enhance resilience against the more credible ones. We need to formulate guidelines that achieve optimal balance between precautionary policies, and the benign exploitation of new technologies. We shouldn't be complacent that the probabilities of catastrophe are miniscule. Humans have survived for millennia, despite storms, earthquakes, and pestilence. But we have zero grounds for confidence that we can survive the worst that the future can bring. It's an important maxim that "the unfamiliar is not the same as the improbable.
Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Developments in the biosciences in the last half-century have posed novel challenges for governance. These have emerged as biological knowledge becomes more central to matters of safety, health and welfare; as biology is called upon to address moral uncertainty around ideas of human nature, identity and dignity; and as biology plays an increasingly central role in the technological alteration of human bodies, non-human entities and environments. Governance challenges have unfolded across several domains: internally within the research enterprise itself; externally where the biosciences are called upon to address social problems; and in moments of ethical doubt, for example, when institutions of governance are called upon to distinguish bioengineered artifacts from entities with human dignity. Scholarship in Science and Technology Studies (STS) has developed varied approaches and techniques for examining such phenomena, and drawing theoretically grounded generalizations from site-specific studies. This summer school will introduce participants to major approaches, and explore new research frontiers and possible directions for synthesis and innovation. It will emphasize engagement with theoretical issues in STS, with particular attention to moments of friction between science and institutions of democratic governance.
Missed our recent Science and Democracy Lecture with Martin Rees on "Catastrophic Risks: The Downsides of Advancing Technology"? His lecture is available in PDF here and a video is available here.
Our non-stipendiary fellowship application is now live. Apply by January 31st to join us as a fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year!
Spring 2014 STS Fellow Ari Barell recently published Engineer king: David Ben-Gurion, Science and Nation Building.
The STS Circle is back! Join us Mondays, 12:15-2PM in Pierce 100F.
STS Summer School: Science and Governance at the Frontiers of Life was held held July 27th-August 1st. The website for the school's students and faculty is located here.
Congratulations to our 2014 STS Undergraduate Essay Prize winner Lily Ostrer and honorable mentions Sandra Korn and Danny Wilson! Watch them discuss the relationship between STS and their winning essays here.
The video from our April 15th Science and Democracy Lecture with Craig Calhoun is now available.
Sheila Jasanoff answered questions about STS at Harvard and elsewhere in this month's issue of HKS Magazine.
See what we were up to in 2013! Check out our annual newsletter.