Science and Society

The Science and Society Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration offered by the Faculty Committee on Science and Technology Studies ( This concentration examines the processes of scientific discovery and the establishment of scientific policies and systems of belief from historical, philosophical, anthropological and sociological perspectives.


Consisting of 12 courses, the program of study outlined below will be developed by each student in consultation with the concentration advisor. Where appropriate, independent reading, lab courses or GISPS may count for up to three of the twelve total courses. Students will take a minimum of 7 intermediate to advanced courses.

Required Courses (2)

The concentration has two required courses.

Thematic Track (3)

Students will organize their course of study around the choice of a thematic track. The theme may be thought of as the applied content portion of the concentration. Students will take a minimum of three courses, at least one of which must be at an advanced level, in one of the thematic areas listed below:

History & Philosophy of Science

Gender & Science

Race, Science & Ethnicity

Health & Medicine

Representing Science in Literature & Culture

Policy, Persuasion & the Rhetoric of Science

Environment & Society

Independent Focus

Science Track (4)

Students will take a minimum of four courses in one of the following scientific areas: physical sciences, life sciences, mathematics/computer science. The chosen area should provide appropriate background and support for the chosen concentration theme. The science courses will be sequenced such that a concentrator will move enough beyond the introductory level to gain some understanding of the world view of scientists within a chosen field. The particular sequence of courses which best meets the science requirement will be chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor. When necessary, the concentration advisor will seek guidance from faculty within the chosen scientific field.

Science and Technology Studies Theory (3)

Students will take three Science and Technology Studies-related courses in the social sciences and humanities. These courses, which will provide critical theoretical background for the study of Science and Society, should address questions of historiography, epistemology and methodology in the field of science and technology studies. A full list of such courses and sample concentrations may be found at


To qualify for Honors a student must:

1. Apply for candidacy for Honors by the end of the student's seventh semester.

2. Maintain a high level of excellence in courses within the concentration and above average performance in non-concentration courses. In the event that a student has taken a number of courses S/NC he or she will submit CPR's for consideration by the concentration advisory committee, which will evaluate the student's candidacy.

3. Complete an Honors Thesis judged by the advisor and an additional reader to be of superior quality.

4. Deliver an oral presentation based on thesis work that is favorably reviewed by the concentration faculty and the advisory committee.

Page last updated in February, 2010.

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