Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Research Platforms

Research Platforms for Science and Technology Studies (STS) are a new web-based teaching and training resource developed by the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University to help strengthen the theoretical and methodological foundations of work in the field.

Drawing inspiration from research platforms in the natural sciences, these STS platforms seek to orient students and scholars to promising frontiers of inquiry. Each platform introduces the user to a new concept or area of research. It provides a guide to relevant literature in STS and adjacent social sciences. It illustrates with active links how research in the framework described by the platform can make use of primary sources. It also provides access to research results produced at Harvard under each listed framework.

The STS Program gratefully acknowledges support from the US National Science Foundation for inspiring the development of these platforms. The following grants were especially instrumental:

  • Evidence Observed: Daubert’s Impact on Science and Justice (NSF Award Id : 0850962). PI Sheila Jasanoff.
  • Sociotechnical Imaginaries and Science and Technology Policy: A Cross-National Comparison (NSF Award ID 0724133). PI Sheila Jasanoff.
  • Reframing Rights: Constitutional Implications of Technological Change (NSF Award No. SES-9906834). PI Sheila Jasanoff.

These platforms are a new part of the website, and a work in progress. Please feel free to send feedback to the site administrator with any thoughts or comments you may have about them, or if you find them useful.

The Sociotechnical Imaginaries Project

Throughout the modern world, science and technology (S&T) are deeply implicated in producing collective imaginations of the future. These “sociotechnical imaginaries” have proved particularly useful for policymakers wishing to articulate visions of good and attainable futures. Imagined futures help justify new investments in S&T; in turn, advances in S&T reaffirm the state’s capacity to act as responsible stewards of the public good. Sociotechnical imaginaries serve in this respect both as ends of policy and as instruments of legitimation.