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. For Fall 2022, all meetings are planned to take place in person on Mondays, from 12:15-2:00 p.m., in CGIS South S050, 1730 Cambridge Street unless otherwise noted. Sandwich lunches will be provided. To receive the abstract and bio for each talk, and to register to attend, please join our mailing list.

STS Circle schedule poster

Fall 2022

Sep. 12:
Brenda Dvoskin (Harvard Law School)
Expert Governance of Online Speech
Sep. 19:
Archon Fung (Harvard Kennedy School)
Epistemic Polarization: Who Killed the Truth and Can We Resurrect It?
Sep. 26:
Edward R. Carr (Clark University, International Development, Community, and Environment)
Transformational Adaptation as an Applied STS Problem
Oct. 3:
Sam Bookman (Harvard Law School)
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Environmental Constitutionalism”
Oct. 17:
Aniket De (Harvard University, History)
Racial Segregation and Colonial Self-Government: South Africa and British India, 1900–35
Oct. 24:
Lundy Braun (Brown University, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)
Algorithms, Race, and Racism: Historical Perspectives
Oct. 31:
Anthony Acciavatti (Yale University, Architecture)
Sensing Village Life: Satellites, Lies, and Videotape in India
Nov. 7:
Pierre Delvenne (University of Liège, Political Science)
Moving Cells, Making Value: The Biography of Living Things Revisited
Nov. 14:
Tawanna Dillahunt (University of Michigan, Information)
Alternative Narratives of Digital Futures: A Discussion of Equitable Approaches
Nov. 21:
José Perillan (Vassar College, Physics and STS)
Science Between Myth and History: Writing the Past to Control the Future
Nov. 28:
Karl Dudman (Harvard STS)
Cooperative Extension, Climate Science, and the Quest for the Public Good

» 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.

Marcia K. McNutt event poster

Marcia K. McNutt

With panel discussion by Jason Furman, James H. Stock, and Latanya Sweeney.

March 23, 2022, 5:00pm-7:00pm ET

Democracy is famously described, in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, as "government of the people, by the people and for the people." But how can leaders and policy makers know that the decisions they make are in the best interests of the people? Science is the only tool that humankind as devised for reliably peering into the future to determine how the laws of natural and human nature will play out under different policy and management options. It is not the role of science to prescribe what the policies should be, as there are factors other than science that must be weighed by leaders in any decision. However, by predicting what outcomes will ensue under different options, members of the public and others can ask: “Is this outcome compatible with our values?” The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established by Abraham Lincoln to provide science-based advice to better inform decisions on national security and the wellbeing of American citizens. In the more than 150 years since its founding, the NAS has weighed in on the challenges of the times, and we have emerged stronger thanks to this advice.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

» Lecture series archive

Workshops and Panels

Re-centering the Social: Technoscience in Crisis Times event poster

The Graduate Research in STS conference

Oct 13-15, 2022
Harvard Kennedy School

The Graduate Research in STS (GRiSTS) 2022 conference invites students from any discipline to discuss the relations of S&T with policy, politics and governance in modern societies. Through sharing their work, students from universities across the Northeast connect to a growing network of STS research and mentoring in areas of shared intellectual interest and practical concern. Fostering these connections will allow young researchers to better appreciate their own academic contributions and professional roles, as well as build inclusive, yet critical, understandings of S&T in global society.

GRiSTS is institutionally supported by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

» Workshops and panels archive

Program news

Mak Takahashi's exhibit, Picturing the Invisible, was awarded the 2022 Ziman award by the European Association for the Study of Science & Technology (EASST).

“We need more urgently to seize back the political discourse on life that has empowered this court to present a massively retrograde decision as if it stands on moral high ground,” says Sheila Jasanoff about the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

Register your interest now for submitting to "Future Humans: An Anthology," a speculative fiction festival for the Harvard community.

Sheila Jasanoff wins Holberg Prize, one of the the world’s most prestigious awards in the social sciences.

This year's Science and Democracy Network meeting will be held at Harvard from July 27-30, 2022. Check the SDN website soon for registration details.

Congratulations to Annelisa Kingsbury Lee for winning this year's STS Undergraduate Essay Prize for her paper on "Ultrasupercritical Coal as Viral Technology: The Chinese Case."

Honorable mentions for this year's STS Undergraduate Essay Prize were Lauren Fadiman for her essay "5G Conspiracy Theories and Biopolitics in the Vernacular," and Emma Forbes for her paper on "Commodifying and Depoliticizing Robot Dogs."

If you missed the latest Science and Democracy Lecture with Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences, you can rewatch it here.

STS@HKS welcomes applications to its non-stipendiary pre- and postdoctoral fellowship program for AY 2022-2023. Please visit the STS@HKS Fellows page for more information and an application link.

This year's STS Graduate Research Seminar on "Beyond "Don't be evil': Embedding your research in social contexts," will be held from Jan 18-21. Learn more and register.

» Program news archive