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

Spring 2016

Feb. 1:
Jill Lepore (Harvard, History)
The Past As Proof
Feb. 8:
Larissa Belcic (Harvard, GSD)
Playlist from the Terrestrial Analog: Towards an Ecology of Outer Space
Feb. 22:
Lisa Haushofer (Harvard, History of Science/Chemical Heritage Foundation)
“Pepsin Era” – Artificially Digested Foods and the Eating Body
Feb. 29:
Behnam Taebi (Harvard, HKS Belfer Center)
Responsible Innovation and Public Values in the Dutch Shale Gas Controversy
Mar. 7:
Shreeharsh Kelkar (MIT, HASTS)
Platformizing Higher Education: Computer Science and the Making of MOOC Infrastructures
Mar. 21:
Aziza Ahmed (Northeastern Law School)
Risk, Feminism, and AIDS
Mar. 28:
Yael Berda (Hebrew University, Sociology and Anthropology)
The File and the Checkpoint: Managing Citizenship in Israel and India after Independence
Apr. 4:
Alden Young (Drexel University, History and Africana Studies)
Sudanese Economics: Between an Environmental and a Political Imagination
Apr. 11:
Cara Kiernan Fallon (Harvard, History of Science)
Healthy Forever? Aging, Mobility, and the Transformation of Later Life
Apr. 18:
Arunabh Ghosh (Harvard, WCFIA))
No ‘Mean’ Solution: The Reformulation of Statistical Science in the Early People’s Republic of China
Apr. 20:
Yaron Ezrahi (Hebrew University), Andy Stirling (University of Sussex), & Shiv Visvanathan (Jindal Global University) Science and Democracy Lecture:The Elusive Demos: Democracy in the Digital Age
Note: Will be held 5-7PM in Location TBA
Apr. 25:
Trevor Pinch (Cornell S&TS)
Stanley Milgram and the Sonic Imaginary

» 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.

William Nordhaus event poster

William D. Nordhaus
With panel discussion by Michael GrubbDavid Keith, and Richard Zeckhauser. Moderated by Sheila Jasanoff.
November 4, 2015, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Science Center A, 1 Oxford Street

Much progress has been made by scientists and economists in understanding the science, technologies, and policies involved in climate change and reducing emissions. Notwithstanding this progress, it has up to now proven difficult to induce countries to join in an international agreement with significant reductions in emissions. The talk suggests that the Kyoto Protocol ran aground because of the tendency of countries to free-ride on the efforts of others for global public goods. It discusses how this tendency is rooted in international law, and examines the ways that nations have overcome free-riding in other areas. The article examines the “club model” as a mechanism to provide public goods and overcome free-riding. It examines the idea of a Climate Club and suggests that current approaches, starting with the Kyoto Protocol and continuing with the upcoming Paris meeting, have little chance of success unless they adopt some of the strategies associated with the club model of international agreements.   Video of this lecture is available here.


» Lecture series archive

Workshops and Panels

A World of Struggle event poster

David Kennedy
With comments from David Armitage, Samuel Moyn and Kathryn Sikkink. Moderated by Sheila Jasanoff.
February 24, 2016, 4:30-6:00PM
Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building, Harvard Kennedy School

Book Description: A World of Struggle reveals the role of expert knowledge in our political and economic life. As politicians, citizens, and experts engage one another on a technocratic terrain of irresolvable argument and uncertain knowledge, a world of astonishing inequality and injustice is born. In this provocative book, David Kennedy draws on his experience working with international lawyers, human rights advocates, policy professionals, economic development specialists, military lawyers, and humanitarian strategists to provide a unique insider's perspective on the complexities of global governance. He describes the conflicts, unexamined assumptions, and assertions of power and entitlement that lie at the center of expert rule. Kennedy explores the history of intellectual innovation by which experts developed a sophisticated legal vocabulary for global management strangely detached from its distributive consequences. At the center of expert rule is struggle: myriad everyday disputes in which expertise drifts free of its moorings in analytic rigor and observable fact. He proposes tools to model and contest expert work and concludes with an in-depth examination of modern law in warfare as an example of sophisticated expertise in action. Charting a major new direction in global governance at a moment when the international order is ready for change, this critically important book explains how we can harness expert knowledge to remake an unjust world.   This event is a book launch followed by a reception.

» Workshops and panels archive

Program news

Join us February 24th for a book launch and reception in honor of David Kennedy's new book, A World of Struggle: How Power, Law, and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy.

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.

Our 2015 Newsletter is now available!  

Missed our Science and Democracy Lecture with William D. Nordhaus? The video is now available!

Check out this article in The Harvard Crimson on the state of STS@Harvard!

Former STS Fellow Tolu Odumosu and Venky Narayanamurti have a new article in Physics Today on the social science of creativity and research practice.

Our non-stipendiary fellowship application is now live. Apply by January 31st to join us as a fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year!

Ben Hurlbut, Kris Saha, and Sheila Jasanoff recently published an article on CRISPR in Issues.

The Fall 2015 STS Circle schedule is out now! Join us on Mondays, 12:15-2:00PM in Pierce 100F (unless otherwise noted).

Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power, edited by Sheila Jasanoff and Sang-Hyun Kim, builds on research conducted as part of a National Science Foundation grant and was recently published by University of Chicago Press.

» Program news archive