Science and Society


Science and Society is an interdisciplinary concentration that examines the processes of scientific discovery and the establishment of scientific policies and systems of belief from historical, philosophical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives. Concentrators analyze the practices, norms, and values that reflect and shape our deepest convictions about what is considered "science." Students select courses in the physical sciences, life sciences, or mathematics and choose a thematic track that may include the history and philosophy of science, gender and science, race, science and ethnicity, health and medicine, environment and society, or they may create their own independent focus. Science and Society prepares students to follow, guide, and shape scientific knowledge as it travels from the laboratory into the public arena.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Examine scientific theories and policies from historical, philosophical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives
  • Analyze the practices, norms, and values that define conceptions of "science"
  • Be able to monitor and interpret the path of scientific knowledge from the laboratory to the public arena
  • Design a unique concentration in consultation with an advisor
  • Develop sophisticated speaking and writing skills
  • Produce a set of original research papers


Click here for a list of the Science and Society concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Every student must take a senior seminar, a course that examines issues in science and technology from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and provides a capstone for the concentration. To qualify for Honors a student must apply for consideration by the end of the seventh semester, maintain a high level of excellence in courses within the concentration, complete an Honors Thesis, and deliver an oral presentation of the work that is favorably reviewed by the faculty. Please see the program website for more information.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Experience scientific inquiry
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201415 15 
201511 11 
201619 19 
201715 15 

Alumni Pathways

Students who concentrate in Science and Society have become physicians, science and technology communicators, journalists, writers and teachers. Others have pursued graduate education in science and technology studies, the history and philosophy of science, public policy, and law school. Visit the Science and Society website for more information.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.