Science, Technology & Society :: STS Symposium

2nd Annual STS Symposium - "Energy Alternatives" - April 10, 2008

Exploring the technical, social, historical, ethical, and artistic challenges of our energy future.

Energy Alternatives: STS Symposium 2008 The 2nd annual symposium brings together the various elements of the alternative energy debate in order to take an interdisciplinary look at our energy futures. Much of the talk surrounding energy involves finding technical substitutes that for the most part leave uninterrupted our current ways of living in the world. To wit, how can we replace "bad" energy with "good" energy? How can we replace "dirty" energy with "clean" energy?

click for pdf versionPotential technical solutions – wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, "clean" coal, carbohydrate-based biofuels – all carry with them more than simple one-to-one substitution. They also carry different assumptions about what counts as "green" and "good," as well as how society might need to re-organize and change. Thus, energy choices are about more than where our energy comes from, but what kinds of lives we want to live and what kinds of communities we want to have. Thus, any conversation about our energy future should engage current patterns of living, and should ask tough questions about whether we should seek to maintain them or change them based on ethical and other considerations.

To address these issues, Morrisville State College and the Science, Technology, and Society Program will be hosting an Energy Alternatives symposium on Thursday, 10 April 2008. This one-day event, open to the public, brings together a wide variety of elements of the energy debate to start a conversation concerning how we should think about our choices and responsibilities.

The symposium will involve opportunities to visit alternative energy facilities (including a methane digester), a panel discussion engaging the social and ethical aspects of energy production and use, a community-focused art show, and other activities, along with the prospect of connecting with other people concerned about our energy future.

Technical Tours (meet at the Student Activities Center)
  • 12:30 pm and 1:30pm - Methane Digester / Algae Research
  • 12:30pm only - Fenner Wind Turbine
  • Biofuels Processing
    Please note that tours of the methane digester and wind farm will be limited to a specific number; pre-registration will be necessary to reserve spots.
click for pdf versionPanel discussion - 3:00pm in Little Theater
  • Benjamin R. Cohen, University of Virginia
  • David Hess, RPI
  • Jody Roberts, Chemical Heritage Foundation

Note, the panel discussion will also be videoconferenced to our Norwich satellite campus, 134 Follett Hall.

Artistic Exposition and Energy Fair (in lobby of Student Activities Center)

Brought to you by the Morrisville State College STS degree program and the

The 2008 STS "Energy Alternatives" Symposium at Morrisville State College has been funded in part by the Morrisville State College Sheila Johnson Institute, Morrisville State College CSTEP (College Science and Technology Entry Program), and the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.