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 K262, the Bowie-Vernon Room, Knafel Building, CGIS, 1737 Cambridge Street, unless otherwise noted. Sandwich lunches are provided. Please RSVP to email@example.com by Thursday noon the week before.
Tom Özden-Schilling (MIT, HASTS)
Expertise in Exile: Indigenous GIS and the Precariousness of Professionalization
Arunabh Ghosh (Harvard, Weatherhead Center)
No 'Mean' Solution: The Reformulation of Statistical Science in the Early People's Republic of China
Michael Bennett (Northeastern Law School)
The Ascent of Science Fictional Futurity in Anglo-American Legal Thought
Steve Caton (Harvard, Anthropology)
Experts in Cruelty: Interrogation in Abu Ghraib and After
Geert Somsen (Columbia/Maastricht, History)
'Science and World Order': Uses of Science in Plans for International Government, 1899-1950
Dan Navon (Harvard, Robert Wood Johnson Fellow)
Mobilizing Mutations: New Kinds of People at the Intersection of Genetics and Patient Advocacy
Margo Boenig-Liptsin (Harvard, STS/History of Science)
A New Literacy for the Information Age: Children, Computers, and Citizenship
Anna M. Agathangelou (York University, Political Science)
Emerging Legal and Forensic BioConstitutional Order(s) in Post-Conflict Cyprus
Emily Harrison (Harvard, History of Science)
Infant Science and Health Adventuring: Global Intervention around Infant Mortality
Rajesh Veeraraghavan (UC Berkeley/Harvard Berkman Center)
The Politics of Openness: Technology, Corruption and Participation in Indian Public Employment
Antoine Picon (Harvard, GSD)
Cities, Technologies and Political Imaginaries
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.
The STS Circle is back! Take a look at our Spring 2015 schedule.
Our non-stipendiary fellowship application is now live. Apply by January 31st to join us as a fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year!
See what we were up to in 2014! Check out our annual newsletter.
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.
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.