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  Room 100F, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford Street, unless otherwise noted. Sandwich lunches are provided. Please RSVP to by Thursday noon the week before.

STS Circle schedule poster

Fall 2014

Sep. 8:
Aaron Mauck (Harvard, History of Science)
Social Molecules: Biomarkers and the New Data Imaginary in Social Science Research
Sep. 15:
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
Sep. 22:
Angie Boyce (Harvard, Robert Wood Johnson Fellow)
Chicken, Egg, or Cook? Foodborne Salmonellosis and Distributed Responsibility
Sep. 29:
Benjamin Morris (MIT, Catalyst Collaborative)
Science/Fiction: Dramatic Arts as a Medium for Translating Science
Oct. 6:
Scott Podolsky (Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital)
Antimicrobials and Public Health: From Serotherapy to Antibiotics (and Back)
Oct. 20:
Venkatesh Narayanamurti (Harvard, SEAS)
Bridging the Basic-Applied Dichotomy and the Cycle of Discovery and Invention
Oct. 27:
Zoe Nyssa (Harvard, HUCE/STS Fellow)
Ecologies of Paradox: A Typology of Scientific Surprise in the Anthropocene
Nov. 3:
Richard Rottenburg (University of Halle, Anthropology)
Emerging “Global Health” Institutions in Africa: Technologies and Significations
Nov. 6:
Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow)
Science and Democracy Lecture, Title and Location TBD
Nov. 10:
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
Nov. 17:
Heather Paxson (MIT, Anthropology)
Regulating Microbial Ecologies: Policy and Practice in Artisanal Cheesemaking
Nov. 24:
Canay Özden-Schilling (MIT, HASTS)
Economics Inside the Grid: Smart Grids, Power Systems Engineering, and Emergent Markets
Dec. 1:
Zara Mirmalek (Harvard, STS Fellow)
Democracy and the Deep-Sea: Telepresence and Public Participation in Remote Environments

» 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.

Craig Calhoun event poster

Craig Calhoun
With panel discussion by David ArmitageMichèle Lamont, and Orlando Patterson. Moderated by Sheila Jasanoff.
April 15, 2014, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Tsai Lecture Hall, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Harvard University

In the last few years, almost every social science discipline has launched efforts to be more "public" in its work. Some of these are framed mainly in terms of communication of research results; others aim to build communication and an orientation to public purposes into every stage of the research process. In most of these efforts, though, the idea of 'public' has itself been underspecified. And at the same time, there have been substantial changes in the public sphere that have challenged older ideas about how academic knowledge might inform public debate or public policy. In this talk I take up questions about changing media, national and transnational arenas, and the extent to which academia is itself a public sphere.

» Lecture series archive

Workshops and Panels

STS Summer School event poster

July 27-August 2, 2014
Harvard University Center for the Environment

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.

» Workshops and panels archive

Program news

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.

Missed our recent lectures by Ken Feinberg and Alfred Nordmann? The videos are here and here.

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.

Join us on April 24-25th for Science, Identity, and Ethnicity: States and Citizens in Global Knowledge Regimes featuring a keynote by Nadia Abu El-Haj.

Calling all undergraduates and undergraduate advisors! We are now accepting submissions for the 2014 Undergraduate STS Essay Prize Competition.

The deadline for applications for the STS Summer School: Science and Governance at the Frontiers of Life has been extended until April 11th.

» Program news archive