Science, Technology & Society B.S.
What is STS?
Science, Technology and Society (STS) is a growing academic field of investigation into the role of science and technology in our social institutions and value systems. One of the basic assumptions of the discipline of Science, Technology and Society (also referred to as Science and Technology Studies) is that all of our cultural artifacts, from cars to computers, houses to hammers, contain the very values that we as a society cherish. Our technologies, in others words, are a reflection of our humanity. Another basic assumption is that scientific facts are seen as products of scientists' socially organized investigations rather than as objective representations of nature.
In Morrisville's STS program, students grow to understand their society from a new perspective, one which blends a technical knowledge of the environmental sciences and information technologies with a deeper understanding of how science and technology has driven progress in the modern world, and has also led to many unexpected problems, some of a global nature. STS questions the authority of science and technology in an effort to identify and solve many of these problems.
Some examples of issues that are covered by the STS major include:
- examination of energy needs and alternative fuels as oil and fossil fuels continue to dwindle and lead to environmental damage;
- investigation into the dominant role of computers in society and their effect on individuals and institutions;
- analysis of food production technologies and the ethics of consumption;
- evaluation of the process of scientific discovery and laboratory life;
- examination of public policy regarding energy (fossil fuels vs. alternatives), biotechnology (cloning, genetically modified food), environment (global warming, corporate polluting), nanotechnology (gray goo?!), and many other specific scientific and technological projects of our 21st century society.
- All of these topics and more are discussed in our classes which have titles ranging from "Investigating Cyberculture" to "Humans vs. Nature" to "The Values of Science and Technology." If you are interested in how your life is connected to the growing dominance and influence of science and technology in our contemporary world, you will find Morrisville State College's Science Technology and Society degree program a great avenue to a better understanding of these issues.
Morrisville State College has joined a growing list of colleges and universities offering degrees in STS. The list of prestigious schools includes:
- Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
- Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Troy, New York
- Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
- University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
- Oxford University, Cambridge, Englan
- University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Morrisville is the first of sixty-four State University of New York campuses to offer a Science, Technology and Society bachelor degree program, continuing the efforts of the college to be on the cutting edge of higher education and technology.