Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Undergraduate STS Essay Prize Competition

2017 Undergraduate STS Essay Prize Competition

For the seventh year, the Program on Science, Technology, and Society (STS) based at the Harvard Kennedy School will hold a competition for Harvard undergraduates doing independent, original research on social, cultural, historical, or policy issues at the intersection of science, technology and society. Term papers and stand-alone thesis chapters (please note: not entire theses) are eligible for consideration. Thematically appropriate projects in non-textual media, such as films, documentaries, and design projects, will also be considered.

Interested students should submit their work via the online form by Friday, April 7th. Since this prize is for already completed work, interested applicants should be in a position to meet this deadline easily.

Submissions will be evaluated by Fellows in the STS Program. The winner will receive a small cash award; two honorable mentions will also be selected.  We will announce the results at a reception for those who have entered the competition at 4:00PM on Thursday, April 20th  at the Harvard Kennedy School.

For more information on past winners of the Undergraduate STS Essay Prize, please see below.

Videos of Current and Past Winners 

We asked our current and past winners about the relationship between STS and their winning essays. Here are their responses:

Nicole Bassoff

Nicole Bassoff (History of Science ’16) won the 2016 STS Undergraduate Prize for her thesis chapter “Whose Name is it Anyway?: Medical Authority and the ‘Hansen’s Disease’ Movement.”

Leah Singer

Leah Singer (Anthropology ’16) won 2nd place in the 2016 STS Undergraduate Essay Prize competition for her thesis chapter “Injury Law and the Calculation of Future Lost Income Capacity.”

Emma Woo

Emma Woo (History of Science ’16) won 3rd place for her paper “Seeing Pregnancy: Prenatal Care and Women’s visibility in the Women’s Municipal League of Boston.”

Hilton Simmet

Hilton Simmet (Social Studies ’15) won the 2015 STS Undergraduate Prize for his thesis chapter “Blueprints & Laboratories: An Exploration of Plural Modernities in Senegal’s Ecovillages.”

Bran Shim

Bran Shim (Statistics ’15) won 2nd place in the 2015 STS Undergraduate Essay Prize competition for his paper “Land of the Rising iPS Cells: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and Stem Cell Biology in Japan.”

Rachel Taylor

Rachel Taylor (Social Anthropology ’15) won 3rd place in the 2015 STS Undergraduate Essay Prize competition for her thesis chapter “Damning the Drifters: Posthumanist Implications of Jellyfish Subjects in Science, Art, and Aquariums.”

Lily Ostrer

Lily Ostrer (Social Studies ’14) won the 2014 STS Undergraduate Prize for her thesis chapter “Co-Producing the Science and Policy of Child Development.”

Sandra Korn

Sandra Korn (History of Science/Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies ’14) won an honorable mention for her thesis chapter “Doing what comes naturally: Women’s liberation and the radical science movement.”

Danny Wilson

Danny Wilson (History of Science ’14) won an honorable mention for his thesis chapter “This Incredible Organ’: Brain Mapping during the Decade of the Brain.”