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Office: Science, Technology, and Society
Mail Code: 94305-2120
Phone: (650) 723-2565
Web Site: http://sts.stanford.edu

Courses offered by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society are listed under the subject code STS on the ExploreCourses web site.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Science, Technology, and Society

The Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary framework through which to understand the complex interactions of science, technology and the social world. To major in STS, students work through a common core of courses drawn from the social sciences, the humanities, the natural and physical sciences and engineering. Students pursue coursework in one of five specialized areas:

  • Communication and Media
  • Innovation and Organization
  • Nature and Environment 
  • Life Sciences and Health
  • Politics and Policy

Students may also undertake research in affiliated laboratories and through the honors program for course units. All students complete a capstone project, either by taking one of the senior capstone courses (STS 200) or by applying for and completing an STS honors thesis. Students are encouraged to pursue mastery in at least one field from within the humanities or social sciences and at least one field from within the sciences or engineering. Majors may declare either a B.A. or a B.S. degree (see the specific requirements for each degree).

The Program's affiliated faculty represent over a dozen departments, including Anthropology, Communication, Computer Science, Education, Electrical Engineering, History, Law, Management Science and Engineering, Political Science and Sociology. By learning to bring such a rich collection of disciplinary approaches to bear on questions of science and technology, students graduate uniquely equipped to succeed in professions that demand fluency with both technical and social frameworks. Recent graduates of STS have entered top-ranked Ph.D. and MBA programs and forged successful careers in a variety of fields, including business, engineering, law, public service, medicine and academia.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The Program expects undergraduate majors to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. A knowledge of core theories and methods in the interdisciplinary field of STS.
  2. An ability to deploy these theories and methods to analyze interactions between science, technology and society in particular historical and cultural contexts.
  3. An ability to critically evaluate empirical evidence and theoretical claims in STS-related debates.
  4. An ability to communicate clearly and persuasively about STS issues to a general audience in multiple media including oral presentation and writing.

Advising and Course Selection

The Program in Science, Technology, and Society offers an advising process that includes faculty, staff and peer advisers. Prospective majors must first meet with a peer adviser and then with the Program’s Student Services Officer to determine which degree they will pursue (the B.A. or B.S.) and how they will fulfill the Program’s basic requirements. When they are ready to declare, they meet with the Program's Student Services Officer to submit their degree plan and then the Associate Director reviews the coursework for intellectual coherence. Majors are then assigned to a faculty adviser who serves as an intellectual mentor and helps them identify the core questions driving their interest in the field. The Program also sponsors a wide variety of events designed to help students meet their colleagues and Program alumni, discover research and internship opportunities, and make their way toward the career of their choice.

STS Core

The program offers a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Society. Both degree programs require that the student complete the STS Core.

Units
With a grade of 'C' or higher in each course, complete 8 courses satisfying the following requirements:
A. Gateway Requirement
STS 1The Public Life of Science and Technology4
B. Disciplinary Requirement: six courses, one of these courses must be a STS WIM course and at least one of these courses must be a STS Global course. Note 1 & 2
1. Social Sciences and Humanities Courses (complete 4 courses) Note 3 & 413-20
Genes and Identity
Theory of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology
Urban Culture in Global Perspective
Medical Ethics in a Global World: Examining Race, Difference and Power in the Research Enterprise
Culture and Madness
Ten Things: An Archaeology of Design
Digital Media in Society
Media Economics
World Food Economy
Sociology of Science
Data and Knowledge in the Humanities
Gendered Innovations in Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Environment
World History of Science
The Scientific Revolution
Women and Gender in Science, Medicine and Engineering
Water in World History
The Scientific Revolution
Introduction to Philosophy of Science
Science, technology and society and the humanities in the face of the looming disaster
The Religious Life of Things
Economic Sociology
2. Engineering and Science Courses (complete 2 courses)6-10
Air Pollution and Global Warming: History, Science, and Solutions
Engineering Economy
Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy
Ethical Issues in Engineering
Science, Innovation and the Law
Technology and National Security
Ethics, Technology, and Public Policy
C. Senior Requirement4-10
Food and Society: Politics, Culture and Technology
Top Ten Textnologies
Ethics, Science, & Technology
or STS 200J
Sciences of Learning
Advanced Individual Work
Total Units27-44

1WIM courses: ANTHRO 90C, COMM 120W, CS 181W, HISTORY 140A, HISTORY 232F, MS&E 193 or MS&E 197 

2Global courses: ANTHRO 41, ANTHRO 126, ANTHRO 138, ANTHRO 186, ECON 106, HISTORY 131, HISTORY 140, HISTORY 44Q, HISTORY 144,  HISTORY 203J, HISTORY 208A, CEE 64, POLISCI 233F

3May only take HISTORY 140A or HISTORY 232F

4May only take HISTORY 144 or HISTORY 44Q

Concentration Area

In addition to the Core requirements common to all STS students, a minimum of 50 units, at least twelve courses, are required from among those designated on the appropriate Concentration Area course list (available in the Related Courses tab and on the STS website). All courses must be taken for a letter grade if offered and may not be double-counted with core coursework. Students may count no more than two course petitions outside the list of approved Concentration Area courses toward their STS degree plan. Thematic concentrations are organized around an STS-related area or topic:

  1. Communication and Media

  2. Innovation and Organization

  3. Nature and Environment

  4. Life Sciences and Health

  5. Politics and Policy

  6. Self-Designed Concentration

A student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must take at least 8 classes from the Socio-Cultural Course menus, including at least 3 designated as Foundational, and at least 4 classes from the Technical Course menus. 

A student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree must take at least 8 classes from the Technical Course menu, and at least 4 classes from the Socio-Cultural Course menus, including at least 3 designated as Foundational. 

Students in both degree programs are encouraged to pursue sequences of courses that build on one another to increase the coherence of their program and give depth to their skill set and knowledge related to STS.

Alternatively, subject to program approval, a student may choose to design a self-designed concentration. Students interested in designing their own concentration must work with the associate director and have their proposal approved at least 2 quarters prior to your graduating quarter. A proposal (5 to 10 pages) should (a) describe your intellectual objectives in detail, (b) explain why a self-designed concentration is the optimal way to pursue these objectives (as opposed to the five STS concentrations or other majors at Stanford), and (c) list at least 12 courses and 50 units that comprise the plan of study. Students with a self-designed concentration must fulfill the same core requirements as other STS students. More information can be found on the STS website

Each student's Concentration Area, certified or self-designed, requires the approval of the STS Associate Director.

Interdisciplinary Honors in Science, Technology, and Society

The Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) offers an opportunity for undergraduates to graduate with Interdisciplinary Honors in STS. The STS honors program is open to STS majors as well as students from other majors.

Students accepted into the program carry out an original honors project, working with a faculty adviser. For STS majors, this project also fulfills the requirements for a capstone course and a sociocultural concentration course. An STS honors thesis tackles a significant problem or question related to the intersection of science, technology, and society. Students draw research methods from one or more of the disciplines that shape STS, such as history, sociology, communication, anthropology, environmental science, computer programming/modeling, engineering, economics, political science, and art history, while also capitalizing on unique analytical perspectives of STS as an intellectual field. STS interdisciplinary honors signals expertise in a given area, organizational skills, and intellectual rigor, and students have used it as a springboard for graduate studies and for careers in fields such as information technology, entrepreneurship, finance, public policy, media, education, law, medicine, and the nonprofit sector. Past honors projects are on file in the STS office library, as well as the digital repository.

Admission

Students are encouraged to apply to the STS honors program during the Spring Quarter of their junior year. Late application is considered up to the add/drop deadline of the Autumn Quarter of their senior year.

For Majors in Science, Technology, and Society

In preparation for applying to the honors program in STS, students should:

  1. Select an area of research interest in STS, prepare related research questions, and identify potential faculty advisers for an honors thesis based on those questions.
  2. Attend one or more of the quarterly STS workshops offered for prospective honors students, and/or take STS 191 Introduction to Research in STS (offered Winter Quarter) or an alternative course on research methods approved by the STS honors program director, and/or speak with the STS honors program director.
  3. Submit a research statement and an honors program application, following the parameters set out at STS Honors Program web site.

For Majors in Other Departments and Programs

In addition to the requirements for STS majors, applicants from other departments should:

  1. Meet with the honors program director as early as possible to ensure that they have sufficient background in relevant analytical and methodological approaches.
  2. Satisfy one of the following:
    • Complete STS 1 The Public Life of Science and Technology, and either two courses approved as sociocultural foundational courses in STS, or two alternative courses approved by the STS honors program director as relevant to the proposed honors research in STS;  or
    • Complete three courses approved by the STS honors program director as relevant to the proposed honors research in STS.

Interdisciplinary Honors Requirements

To graduate with Interdisciplinary Honors in STS, seniors in the honors program need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Enroll in STS 299 with an honors faculty adviser to oversee the thesis for a minimum of 10 units total, with up to 5 units per quarter, over Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters.
  2. Attend required monthly workshops for current STS honors students.
  3. Complete a thesis judged worthy of an honors program by the faculty adviser and STS adviser.
  4. Have an overall Stanford GPA of 3.4 at the end of Winter Quarter, senior year, or demonstrated academic competence.

Minor in Science, Technology, and Society

The program no longer offers a minor. Students currently enrolled in the minor should consult the Stanford Bulletin 2011-12 for degree requirements.

STS Affiliated Faculty

Director and Professor of Education: John Willinsky

Associate Director:  Kyoko Sato

Executive Board: Paula Findlen (History), Duana Fullwiley (Anthropology), Mark Granovetter (Sociology), Hank Greely (Law),  Sarah Lochlann Jain (Anthropology), Robert McGinn (Management Science and Engineering), Brad Osgood (Electrical Engineering), Eric Roberts (Computer Science), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Fred Turner (Communication), John Willinsky (Education)

Affiliated Faculty and Staff: Jeremy Bailenson (Communication), Adam Banks (Graduate School of Educuation), Thomas Byers (Management Science and Engineering), Jean-Pierre Dupuy (French), Paula Findlen (History), Duana Fullwiley (Anthropology), Mark Granovetter, (Sociology),  Hank Greely (Law), Ann Grimes (Communication), James T. Hamilton (Communication), Martin Hellman (Electrical Engineering, Emeritus), Pamela Hinds (Management Science and Engineering), Hector Hoyos (Iberian and Latin American Cultures), Miyako Inoue (Anthropology), Sarah Lochlann Jain (Anthropology), Robert Laughlin (Physics), Pamela Lee (Art and Art History), Sandra Soo-Jin Lee (Biomedical Ethics), Helen Longino (Philosophy), Henry Lowood (Stanford University Libraries), Robert McGinn (Management Science and Engineering), Thomas Mullaney (History), Brad Osgood (Electrical Engineering), Walter Powell (Education), Robert Proctor (History), Jessica Riskin (History), Eric Roberts (Computer Science), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Kyoko Sato (STS), Londa Schiebinger (History), Michael Shanks (Classics, Anthropology), Mitchell Stevens (Education), Elaine Treharne (English), Fred Turner (Communication), John Willinsky (Education)

Emeriti: James Adams (Management Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), Barton Bernstein (History), Walter Vincenti (Aeronautics and Astronautics)

Thematic Concentrations Course Lists

Communication and Media

Thematic concentration in Communication and Media:

Units
Socio-Cultural Courses
Starstuff: Space and the American Imagination
Technology and the Visual Imagination
Art, Business & the Law
Creativity in the Age of Facebook: Making Art for and from Networks
Future Media, Media Archaeologies
Mass Media, Society, and Democracy
Communication Research Methods
Media Processes and Effects
Digital Media in Society
The Dialogue of Democracy
Media Economics
Virtual People
Media Psychology
Futurity: Why the Past Matters
Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy
Sociology of Science
Curating Experience: Representation in and beyond Museums
Learning, Sharing, Publishing, and Intellectual Property
Data and Knowledge in the Humanities
Text Technologies: A History
History of the Book
Perspectives in Assistive Technology (ENGR 110)
Ethical Issues in Engineering
Technology Entrepreneurship
Poetic Thinking Across Media
Advanced Topics in Agnotology
The History of Information
Organizations: Theory and Management
Ethics, Technology, and Public Policy
Chinese Film Studies
Communication, Culture, and Society: The Chinese Way
Chinese Media Studies
Sharing Beauty in Florence: Collectors, Collections and the Shaping of the Western Museum Tradition
On-Screen Battles: Filmic Portrayals of Fascism and World War II
Women in Art: Case Study in the Madrid Museums
Sociology of Communication
The Rise of the Woman Writer 1660-1860
The Avant Garde in France through Literature, Art, and Theater
Introduction to Perception
Introduction to Cultural Psychology
The Religious Life of Things
Science, Technology and Politics
Introduction to Research in STS
Minds and Machines
Cognition in Interaction Design
Technical Courses
Interactive Art: Making it with Arduino
Intro to Digital / Physical Design
Data as Material
Video Art I
Digital Art I
PHOTOGRAPHY II: Digital
Industry Applications of Virtual Design & Construction
Introduction to Scientific Computing
Big Data: Tools and Techniques, Discoveries and Pitfalls
Introduction to Computers
Programming Methodology
Programming Abstractions
Programming Abstractions (Accelerated)
Computer Organization and Systems
Object-Oriented Systems Design
Introduction to Probability for Computer Scientists
Principles of Computer Systems
From Languages to Information
Introduction to Computer Networking
Introduction to Databases
Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction Design
Introduction to Computer Graphics and Imaging
User Interface Design Project
Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques
Social and Information Network Analysis
Human-Computer Interaction Design Studio
Interactive Computer Graphics
Introduction to Cryptography
Human-Computer Interaction Research
Circuits I
Circuits II
Signal Processing and Linear Systems I
Signal Processing and Linear Systems II
Digital System Design
Introduction to Digital Image Processing
Introduction to Bioimaging
Digital Systems Architecture
Introduction to Media
The Biology and Evolution of Language
Interactive Management Science
Introduction to Optimization
Probabilistic Analysis
Information Networks and Services
Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound
Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computational Music
Music Query, Analysis, and Style Simulation
Neuroplasticity and Musical Gaming

Innovation and Organization

Thematic concentration in Innovation and Organization:

Units
Socio-Cultural Courses
Genes and Identity
The Anthropology of Global Supply Chains
Anthropology of Drugs: Experience, Capitalism, Modernity
Modernism and Modernity
Creativity in the Age of Facebook: Making Art for and from Networks
Future Media, Media Archaeologies
Modeling Cultural Evolution
Design Theory
Ten Things: An Archaeology of Design
Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy
American Economic History
Development Economics
Labor Economics
Sociology of Science
Data and Knowledge in the Humanities
Technology Entrepreneurship
Global History: The Modern Age
Gendered Innovations in Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Environment
World History of Science
The Scientific Revolution
Women and Gender in Science, Medicine and Engineering
History of Ignorance
The Scientific Revolution
Science, Innovation and the Law
History and Philosophy of Design
Global Engineers' Education
Forecasting for Innovators:Technology, Tools & Social Change
Innovation, Creativity, and Change
Creativity Rules
Organizations: Theory and Management
Global Work
Ethics, Technology, and Public Policy
The German Economy: Past and Present
A People's Union? Money, Markets, and Identity in the EU
The German Economy in the Age of Globalization
The Archaeology of Southern African Hunter Gatherers
The Florentine Sketchbook: A Visual Arts Practicum
Sharing Beauty in Florence: Collectors, Collections and the Shaping of the Western Museum Tradition
Space as History: Social Vision and Urban Change
Building the Cathedral and the Town Hall: Constructing and Deconstructing Symbols of a Civilization
Business Policy and Strategy in a Global Environment
Women in Art: Case Study in the Madrid Museums
Sociology of Communication
British Economic Policy since World War II
The Avant Garde in France through Literature, Art, and Theater
EAP: Analytical Drawing and Graphic Art
The Ceilings of Paris
Building Paris: Its History, Architecture, and Urban Design
Sustainable Cities: Comparative Transportation Systems in Latin America
Santiago: Urban Planning, Public Policy, and the Built Environment
The Chilean Economy: History, International Relations, and Development Strategies
The Chilean Economy in Comparative Perspective
Organizations and Public Policy
Ethics On the Edge: Business, Non-Profit Organizations, Government, and Individuals
Science and Technology Policy
The Religious Life of Things
Economic Sociology
Formal Organizations
The Social Science of Entrepreneurship
Markets and Governance
Global Organizations: Managing Diversity
Science, Technology and Politics
Issues in Technology and the Environment
Introduction to Research in STS
Minds and Machines
Cognition in Interaction Design
Technical Courses
Interactive Art: Making it with Arduino
Intro to Digital / Physical Design
Data as Material
Engineering Economy
Big Data: Tools and Techniques, Discoveries and Pitfalls
Introduction to Computers
Programming Methodology
Programming Abstractions
Programming Abstractions (Accelerated)
Computer Organization and Systems
Object-Oriented Systems Design
Introduction to Probability for Computer Scientists
Principles of Computer Systems
From Languages to Information
Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction Design
User Interface Design Project
Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques
Introduction to Robotics
Experimental Robotics
Human-Computer Interaction Design Studio
Human-Computer Interaction Research
Beyond Bits and Atoms: Designing Technological Tools
Beyond Bits and Atoms - Lab
Circuits I
Circuits II
Signal Processing and Linear Systems I
Signal Processing and Linear Systems II
Digital System Design
Introduction to Bioimaging
Digital Systems Architecture
Intro to Solid Mechanics
An Intro to Making: What is EE
Mechanics of Materials
Visual Thinking
Introduction to Human Values in Design
Product Design Methods
Design and Manufacturing
Advanced Product Design: Needfinding
Introduction to Decision Making
Interactive Management Science
Introduction to Optimization
Probabilistic Analysis
Introduction to Stochastic Modeling
Information Networks and Services
Introduction to Decision Analysis
Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound
Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computational Music
Neuroplasticity and Musical Gaming

Nature and Environment

Thematic concentration in Nature and Environment:

Units
Socio-Cultural Courses
Starstuff: Space and the American Imagination
Theory of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology
Language and the Environment
Urban Culture in Global Perspective
Social and Environmental Sustainability: The Costa Rican Case
Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Problems
Political Ecology of Tropical Land Use: Conservation, Natural Resource Extraction, and Agribusiness
The Ecology of Cuisine: Food, Nutrition, and the Evolution of the Human Diet
Australian Ecosystems: Human Dimensions and Environmental Dynamics
Food and security
Human Society and Environmental Change
Building a Sustainable Society: New Approaches for Integrating Human and Environmental Priorities
Urban Agriculture in the Developing World
Feeding Nine Billion
World Food Economy
Environmental Economics and Policy
Sociology of Science
Human Society and Environmental Change
Global History: The Modern Age
World History of Science
The Scientific Revolution
History of Ignorance
Water in World History
The Age of Discovery: Maritime Science and Empire, 1400-1850
The Scientific Revolution
Popular Culture and American Nature
The Ethical Challenges of Climate Change
Culture, Evolution, and Society
Environmental and Health Policy Analysis
Forecasting for Innovators:Technology, Tools & Social Change
International Environmental Policy
The German Economy: Past and Present
The Archaeology of Southern African Hunter Gatherers
Globalization and Its Effect on France and the European Union
Sustainable Cities: Comparative Transportation Systems in Latin America
Santiago: Urban Planning, Public Policy, and the Built Environment
Introduction to Philosophy of Science
Governing the Global Economy
Science, technology and society and the humanities in the face of the looming disaster
International Environmental Policy
Science, Technology and Politics
Issues in Technology and the Environment
Introduction to Research in STS
Sustainable Cities
Technical Courses
Plant Biology, Evolution, and Ecology
Ecology
Conservation Biology: A Latin American Perspective
Marine Ecology: From Organisms to Ecosystems
Sensory Ecology
Air Pollution and Global Warming: History, Science, and Solutions
Environmental Science and Technology
Foundations of Water Science and Engineering
Managing Sustainable Building Projects
Understanding Energy
Building Information Modeling Workshop
Sustainable Development Studio
Environmental Planning Methods
Energy Efficient Buildings
Electric Power: Renewables and Efficiency
Modern Power Systems Engineering
Energy and the Environment
Fundamentals of Renewable Power
The Water Course
Remote Sensing of Land
Science of Soils
Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable Energy for 9 Billion
Fundamentals of Petroleum Engineering
Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences
Energy: Chemical Transformations for Production, Storage, and Use
Engineering Thermodynamics
Thermodynamic Evaluation of Green Energy Technologies
Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries: Materials for the Energy Solution
Coral Reef Ecosystems
Freshwater Systems
Coastal Forest Ecosystems
Marine Ecology of Chile and the South Pacific
Introduction to the Physics of Energy
Introduction to Nuclear Energy

Life Sciences and Health

Thematic concentration in Life Sciences and Health:

Units
Social-Cultural Courses
Women and Medicine in US History: Women as Patients, Healers and Doctors
Genes and Identity
Medical Anthropology
Medical Ethics in a Global World: Examining Race, Difference and Power in the Research Enterprise
Anthropology of Drugs: Experience, Capitalism, Modernity
The Ecology of Cuisine: Food, Nutrition, and the Evolution of the Human Diet
Culture and Madness
Art and Biology
Ethics in Bioengineering
Sociology of Science
Psychology and American Indian Mental Health
The Renaissance Body in French Literature and Medicine
Law and the Biosciences
Madwomen: The History of Women and Mental Illness in the U.S.
Gendered Innovations in Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Environment
In Sickness and In Health: Medicine and Society in the United States: 1800-Present
World History of Science
Women and Gender in Science, Medicine and Engineering
History of Ignorance
People, Plants, and Medicine: Colonial Science and Medicine
Tobacco and Health in World History
The Social History of Mental Illness in the United States
Culture, Evolution, and Society
Behavior, Health, and Development
Environmental and Health Policy Analysis
Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Health
Foundations of Bioethics
Foundations for Community Health Engagement
Bioethics: the Biotechnological Revolution, Human Rights and Politics in the Global Era
Health Care: A Contrastive Analysis between Spain and the U.S.
Issues in Bioethics Across Cultures
Global Health Systems: the Future
Introduction to Philosophy of Science
Philosophy, Biology, and Behavior
International History and International Relations Theory
Introduction to Perception
Introduction to Cultural Psychology
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response
Science, Technology and Politics
Issues in Technology and the Environment
Introduction to Research in STS
Technical Courses
Genetics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology and Animal Physiology
Plant Biology, Evolution, and Ecology
Introduction to laboratory research in cell and molecular biology
Introduction to Research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Introduction to Research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The Human Genome and Disease
The Human Genome and Disease: Genetic Diversity and Personalized Medicine
Conservation Biology: A Latin American Perspective
Human Behavioral Biology
Fundamentals for Engineering Biology Lab
Introduction to Bioengineering (Engineering Living Matter)
Systems Biology
Systems Physiology and Design
Computational Modeling of Microbial Communities
Chemical Principles I
Chemical Principles II
Chemical Principles Accelerated
Structure and Reactivity
Synthetic and Physical Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Polyfunctional Compounds
Physical Chemistry I
Engineering Better Health Systems: modeling for public health
Laboratory Mouse in Biomedical Research
Signal Processing and Linear Systems I
Signal Processing and Linear Systems II
Introduction to Bioimaging
Genetics, Evolution, and Ecology
Cell and Developmental Biology
The Human Organism
The Biology and Evolution of Language
The Art of Vision
Coral Reef Ecosystems
Freshwater Systems
Coastal Forest Ecosystems
Marine Ecology of Chile and the South Pacific

Politics and Policy

Thematic concentration in Politics and Policy:

Units
Socio-Cultural Courses
Starstuff: Space and the American Imagination
Political Ecology of Tropical Land Use: Conservation, Natural Resource Extraction, and Agribusiness
Need to Know: The Tension between a Free Press and National Security Decision Making
Futurity: Why the Past Matters
Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy
Food and security
World Food Economy
Sociology of Science
Data and Knowledge in the Humanities
Human Society and Environmental Change
Nation in Motion: Film, Race and Immigration in Contemporary French Cinema
Dynasties, Dictators and Democrats: History and Politics in Germany
Post-Cold War German Foreign Policy
Global History: The Modern Age
History of the International System
The Changing Face of War: Introduction to Military History
World History of Science
History of Ignorance
Water in World History
Advanced Topics in Agnotology
The Age of Discovery: Maritime Science and Empire, 1400-1850
The Renaissance of War: Politics, Technology, and War in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy
Presidents and Foreign Policy in Modern History
Science, Innovation and the Law
International Law and International Relations
The U.S., U.N. Peacekeeping, and Humanitarian War
Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and International Criminal Tribunals
Intelligence and National Security
Technology and National Security
Ethics, Technology, and Public Policy
On-Screen Battles: Filmic Portrayals of Fascism and World War II
Health Care: A Contrastive Analysis between Spain and the U.S.
Globalization and Its Effect on France and the European Union
Santiago: Urban Planning, Public Policy, and the Built Environment
The Chilean Economy: History, International Relations, and Development Strategies
Governing the Global Economy
War and Peace in American Foreign Policy
Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
International Security in a Changing World
The International History of Nuclear Weapons
Introduction to American Law
Politics and Public Policy
The Psychology of Communication About Politics in America
Data Science for Politics
Challenges and Dilemmas in American Foreign Policy
International History and International Relations Theory
Science, technology and society and the humanities in the face of the looming disaster
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response
Science and Technology Policy
Science, Technology and Politics
Issues in Technology and the Environment
Introduction to Research in STS
Technical Courses
Environmental Planning Methods
Chemical Principles I
Chemical Principles II
Chemical Principles Accelerated
Structure and Reactivity
Synthetic and Physical Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Computers
Programming Methodology
Programming Abstractions
Programming Abstractions (Accelerated)
Computer Organization and Systems
Object-Oriented Systems Design
Introduction to Probability for Computer Scientists
Principles of Computer Systems
Introduction to Cryptography
Nuclear Weapons, Energy, Proliferation, and Terrorism
Interactive Management Science
Mechanics
Electricity and Magnetism
Introduction to the Physics of Energy
Introduction to Nuclear Energy

Overseas Studies Courses in Science, Technology, and Society

The Bing Overseas Studies Program manages Stanford study abroad programs for Stanford undergraduates. Students should consult their department or program's student services office for applicability of Overseas Studies courses to a major or minor program.

The Bing Overseas Studies course search site displays courses, locations, and quarters relevant to specific majors.

For course descriptions and additional offerings, see the listings in the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses or Bing Overseas Studies.


Units
OSPAUSTL 10Coral Reef Ecosystems3
OSPAUSTL 25Freshwater Systems3
OSPAUSTL 30Coastal Forest Ecosystems3
OSPBEIJ 17Chinese Film Studies4
OSPBEIJ 20Communication, Culture, and Society: The Chinese Way4
OSPBEIJ 42Chinese Media Studies4
OSPBER 115XThe German Economy: Past and Present4-5
OSPBER 126XA People's Union? Money, Markets, and Identity in the EU4-5
OSPBER 161XThe German Economy in the Age of Globalization4-5
OSPCPTWN 36The Archaeology of Southern African Hunter Gatherers4
OSPFLOR 41The Florentine Sketchbook: A Visual Arts Practicum4
OSPFLOR 48Sharing Beauty in Florence: Collectors, Collections and the Shaping of the Western Museum Tradition4
OSPFLOR 49On-Screen Battles: Filmic Portrayals of Fascism and World War II5
OSPFLOR 58Space as History: Social Vision and Urban Change4
OSPFLOR 85Bioethics: the Biotechnological Revolution, Human Rights and Politics in the Global Era4
OSPFLOR 115YBuilding the Cathedral and the Town Hall: Constructing and Deconstructing Symbols of a Civilization4
OSPISTAN 62Business Policy and Strategy in a Global Environment4
OSPKYOTO 38From Chashitsu to Muji: a Creative Introduction to the Roots of Contemporary Japanese Design5
OSPMADRD 45Women in Art: Case Study in the Madrid Museums4
OSPMADRD 57Health Care: A Contrastive Analysis between Spain and the U.S.4
OSPMADRD 71Sociology of Communication5
OSPMADRD 72Issues in Bioethics Across Cultures4
OSPOXFRD 45British Economic Policy since World War II5
OSPOXFRD 57The Rise of the Woman Writer 1660-18605
OSPPARIS 30The Avant Garde in France through Literature, Art, and Theater4
OSPPARIS 44EAP: Analytical Drawing and Graphic Art2
OSPPARIS 72The Ceilings of Paris4
OSPPARIS 91Globalization and Its Effect on France and the European Union5
OSPPARIS 98Global Health Systems: the Future5
OSPSANTG 29Sustainable Cities: Comparative Transportation Systems in Latin America4-5
OSPSANTG 71Santiago: Urban Planning, Public Policy, and the Built Environment4-5
OSPSANTG 85Marine Ecology of Chile and the South Pacific5
OSPSANTG 119XThe Chilean Economy: History, International Relations, and Development Strategies5
OSPSANTG 130XThe Chilean Economy in Comparative Perspective5

Courses

STS 1. The Public Life of Science and Technology. 4 Units.

The course focuses on key social, cultural, and values issues raised by contemporary scientific and technological developments through the STS interdisciplinary lens by developing and applying skills in three areas: (a) The historical analysis of contemporary global matters (e.g., spread of technologies; climate change response); (b) The bioethical reasoning around health issues (e.g., disease management; privacy rights); and (c) The sociological study of knowledge (e.g., intellectual property, science publishing). A discussion section is required and will be assigned the first week of class.

STS 103Q. Reading and Writing Poetry about Science. 4 Units.

Preference to sophomores. Students will study recent poetry inspired by the phenomena and history of the sciences in order to write such poems themselves. These poems bring sensuous human experience to bear on biology, ecology, astronomy, physics, earth science, and medicine, as well as on technological advances and calamities. Poets such as Linda Bierds, Mark Doty, Albert Goldbarth, Sarah Lindsay, W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich, Pattiann Rogers, Tracy K. Smith, Arthur Sze, and C. K. Williams. Grounding in poetics, research in individually chosen areas of science, weekly analytical and creative writing. Fulfills the Creative Expression requirement. Enrollment limited to 12.

STS 131. Science, Technology, and Environmental Justice. 4 Units.

The Bay Area is renowned for its technological innovations and progressive politics, including environmental justice activism. This course explores the multifaceted intersections of science, technology, and environmental issues, in the Bay Area and beyond. Throughout, students investigate the politics of place, with an eye to inequalities of race, class, gender, generation, and citizenship. Topics include: histories of environmentalism; socio-technological systems; urban and regional planning; public health and biomedicine; food systems; climate change; innovation ecosystems; undone science.

STS 136. Anthropological Inquiries: Cold War, Nuclear Testing, Energy, and Human Rights. 4 Units.

The atomic age has remade communities, public cultures, and the consciousness of individuals all across the globe. What are the political, social, cultural, and scientific legacies of nuclear testing and disasters? Think: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, Fukushima and Soviet, French, and American nuclear weapons testing. But also think: nuclear energy production as a ¿forward thinking¿ solution to carbon emissions. Indeed, the military and peaceful use of the atom is a transnational phenomenon with local manifestations and consequences, but what are the social implications of the nuclear age? How do scientists and institutions attempt to manage and control risk? This class explores these questions by studying the aftermath of the nuclear age through full-length ethnographies, journal articles, and film. Each week we will investigate the contested nature of this topic through a diversity of perspectives, past and present. This is a survey course, designed for advanced placement high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.

STS 140. Science, Technology and Politics. 5 Units.

This course will critically interrogate the relationship between science and technology and politics. Politics plays a significant role in the production of scientific knowledge and technological artifacts. Science and technology in turn constitute crucial elements of politics and governance in modern democracy. This course will explore these interactions through (1) key theoretical texts in STS and (2) case studies of such issues as climate change, race and science, urban planning, elections and technology, and information technology in social movements. Preference to juniors and seniors. First class attendance mandatory. Enrollment limited to 16.

STS 160Q. Technology in Contemporary Society. 4 Units.

Preference to sophomores. Introduction to the STS field. The natures of science and technology and their relationship, what is most distinctive about these forces today, and how they have transformed and been affected by contemporary society. Social, cultural, and ethical issues raised by recent scientific and technological developments. Case studies from areas such as information technology and biotechnology, with emphasis on the contemporary U.S. Unexpected influences of science and technology on contemporary society and how social forces shape scientific and technological enterprises and their products. Enrollment limited to 12.

STS 165N. Cars: Past, Present, and Future. 3 Units.

(Formerly COMM 165N.) Preference to freshmen. Focus is on the past, present and future of the automobile, bridging the humanities, social sciences, design, and engineering. Focus on the human experiences of designing, making, driving, being driven, living with, and dreaming of the automobile. A different theme featured each week in discussion around a talk and supported by key readings and media. Course is informed by history, archaeology, ethnography, human-technology interaction, mechanical engineering, and cognitive science.

STS 186. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Triple Helix of University Industry Government Interactions. 3 Units.

This seminar examines the origins, growth and risks of Knowledge-based ecosystems. Is Silicon Valley sustainable and replicable? Where is 1960's Boston Route 128 innovation hub today? Are the Golden Triangle (Oxford, Cambridge, London) Moscow's Skolkovo; North Carolina's Research Triangle; France's Sophia Antipolis and other wannabe Silicon Landscapes viable? What is the role of Civil Society, gender balance and diversity, the arts and sciences: natural and social in innovation policy and practice? Innovation in innovation is the invention of organizational formats that facilitate product, process and social innovation. Start-ups and spin-offs, the Entrepreneurial University and Public Venture Capital and have been innovation drivers but are they sufficient? Can debt funded R&D sustain innovation? We will study the Stanford Innovation System and publish our results.

STS 190. Issues in Technology and the Environment. 4 Units.

Humans have long shaped and reshaped the natural world with technologies. Once a menacing presence to conquer or an infinite reserve for resources, nature is now understood to require constant protection from damage and loss. This course will examine humanity's varied relationship with the environment, with a focus on the role of technology. Topics include: industrialization, modernism, nuclear technology, and biotechnology. Students will explore theoretical and methodological approaches in STS and conduct original research that addresses this human-nature-technology nexus.

STS 191. Introduction to Research in STS. 4 Units.

This seminar introduces key analytical approaches and methodologies in STS, as well as basic tools for conducting original research in STS. Students survey a series of influential empirical studies; identify productive questions of their own interest; and explore how to pursue them through strong research design. Research proposal as final assignment. Preference to STS juniors; others require consent of instructor. The final proposal can serve as an honors prospectus for students who seek to participate in the STS honors program.

STS 199. Independent Study. 1-5 Unit.

Every unit of credit is understood to represent three hours of work per week per term and is to be agreed upon between the student and the faculty member. Instructor consent required. Please contact the department for a permission number.

STS 199A. Curricular Practical Training. 1 Unit.

Students obtain internship in a relevant research or industrial activity to enhance their professional experience consistent with their degree program and area of concentration. Prior to enrolling students must get internship approved by the STS Program Director. At the end of the quarter, a one-page final report must be supplied documenting work done and relevance to degree program. Meets the requirements for Curricular Practical Training for students on F-1 visas. Student is responsible for arranging own internship. Limited to declared STS majors only. Course may be repeated twice. Instructor consent required. Please contact the department for a permission number.

STS 199J. Editing a Science Technology and Society Journal. 1-2 Unit.

The Science Technology and Society (STS) Program has a student journal, Intersect, that has been publishing STS student papers for a number of years. This course involves learning about how to serve as an editor of a peer-reviewed journal, while serving as one of the listed editors of Intersect. Entirely operated online, the journal uses a work-flow management to help with the submission process, peer-review, editing, and publication. Student editors learn by being involved in the publishing process, from soliciting manuscripts to publishing the journal's annual issue, while working in consultation with the instructor. Students will also learn about current practices and institutional frameworks around open access and digital publishing.

STS 200A. Food and Society: Politics, Culture and Technology. 5 Units.

This course will examine how politics, culture, and technology intersect in our food practices. Through a survey of academic, journalistic, and artistic works on food and eating, the course will explore a set of key analytical frameworks and conceptual tools in STS, such as the politics of technology, classification and identity, and nature/culture boundaries. The topics covered include: the industrialization of agriculture; technology and the modes of eating (e.g., the rise of restaurants); food taboos; globalization and local foodways; food and environmentalism; and new technologies in production (e.g., genetically modified food). Through food as a window, the course intends to achieve two broad intellectual goals. First, students will explore various theoretical and methodological approaches in STS. In particular, they will pay particular attention to the ways in which politics, culture, and technology intersect in food practices. Second, student will develop a set of basic skills and tools for their own critical thinking and empirical research, and design and conduct independent research on a topic related to food. First class attendance mandatory. STS majors must have Senior status to enroll in this Senior Capstone course.

STS 200D. Top Ten Textnologies. 5 Units.

This course will explore in detail ten of the most successful and long-lived technologies of human communication over the course of ten weeks. We¿ll examine the Rosetta Stone, Crazy Horse Mountain, the Voynich Manuscript, Banksy¿s Graffiti, Jackson Pollock¿s Lucifer, The London Illustrated News, Rihanna¿s `Work¿, the IPad, GoogleVR, and a nickel. We shall create biographies of these textual objects to better understand their effectiveness, the intentionality behind their creation and production, their affordances and functionality in the real world. Students will learn to describe and evaluate the major physical attributes and concepts that essentially underpin all forms of human communication. They¿ll then use this knowledge to replicate, augment, and reform current and historical text technologies.

STS 200E. Technology, Nature, and Environmentalism. 5 Units.

Humans have long shaped and reshaped the natural world with technologies. Once a menacing presence to conquer or an infinite reserve for resources, nature is now understood to require constant protection from damage and loss. Humanity's relationships with the environment have changed over time and differed across societies. In this course, students (1) explore diverse ways in which people in different historical and cultural settings have conceptualized nature and their relationships with it, with a focus on the role of technology; and (2) learn the basics of STS research and conduct an original study that addresses this human-nature-technology nexus. First class attendance mandatory. STS majors must have senior status to enroll in this senior capstone course.

STS 200F. Sociology of Innovation and Invention. 5 Units.

This course examines the social, cultural, and economic factors that foster novelty. We will study a wide array of historical contexts, from the Renaissance to the present day, in which clusters of related innovations transformed the way things are done. We ask when do such innovations cascade out and produce social inventions that, for good and bad, create profound changes in how things are done, leading to new forms of organizations and new categories of people. Seminar/lecture format, reading intensive, final term paper. Prerequisite: admission to the course is restricted to declared STS seniors and is by application only. Email Emily Van Poetsch (emilyvp@stanford.edu) for an application. Applications must be submitted by 5pm on November 1st.

STS 200H. Ethics, Science, & Technology. 4 Units.

Critical analysis of ethical issues raised by recent or emerging advances in science and engineering. Issues: privacy, intellectual property, design equity, the public interest, ethical responsibilities of technical practitioners, research ethics, and freedom of inquiry. Advances from fields such as IT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, construction technology, and transport technology. Seminar limited to 20 senior STS majors. Prerequisite: a course in ethics or permission of the instructor.

STS 200K. Sciences of Learning. 4 Units.

Understanding the process of learning has enticed and eluded scientists for generations. Abetted by the rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs), learning has attracted new cadres of researchers and stars from scientists in adjacent fields, as well as new forms of financial support and visibility. This seminar investigates the recent dynamics of learning science as a case study in the politics of knowledge. Student projects will enable focused empirical inquiry.

STS 200L. Critique of Technology. 3-5 Units.

Informed citizens living in today'™s world, and especially in Silicon Valley, should be able to formulate their own articulate positions about the role of technology in culture. The course gives students the tools to do so. Against the trend towards the thoughtless celebration of all things technological, we will engage in critique in the two senses of the term: as careful study of the cultural implications of technology and as balanced, argumentative criticism. Can technology make life more meaningful, society more fair, people smarter, and the world smaller? We will pay special attention to the insights that literature, and other arts, can offer for reframing digital culture. Selections by Latin American fiction writers (Cortázar, Zambra), philosophers and thinkers (Heidegger and Beller), as well as recent popular works of social commentary, such as You are not a Gadget, The Shallows, 24/7, and Present Shock. Taught in English.
Same as: ILAC 235

STS 299. Advanced Individual Work. 1-5 Unit.

For students in the STS Honors program. Every unit of credit is understood to represent three hours of work per week per term and is to be agreed upon between the student and the faculty member. May be repeated for credit.