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Program Coordinator
Dr. Jeffrey Tang
Phone: (540) 568-2758


Science, Technology and Society

Science, technology and society (STS) is an internationally recognized field of cross disciplinary study that integrates social scientific and humanistic studies to better understand the natural and human-built world. The minor offers students the opportunity to critically examine science, technology and medicine as expressions of human cultures, past and present. Students learn to scrutinize the ideas, values and materials embedded in the world they inhabit today and to relate them to other times and places. They explore how choices made within various social, economic and political structures influence the development of science, technology and medicine. They also see how the adoption and diffusion of ideas, artifacts and techniques can then influence individuals, society, politics and culture. Courses in this minor draw students together from diverse majors across the campus and encourage open inquiry into the role of science and technology in society.

The minor in STS is open to all undergraduate students at JMU. Courses taken to complete the STS minor can also be used to satisfy the student's major, as well as General Education requirements.

The STS minor requires 18 credit hours with at least one course each from the history, sociology and ISAT courses listed.

Required Courses

Credit Hours
Choose one:
     ISAT 131. Technology, Science, and Society
     SOCI 315. Science, Technology, and Society
     HIST 327. Technology in America
Elective courses
Choose five from at least four different programs/majors
     ANTH/ARTH/HIST 492. American Material Culture
     ANTH/SOCI 313. Processes of Social and Cultural Change
     ANTH 340. The Invention of Race
     ANTH 360. Medical Anthropology
     ANTH 373. Anthropological Perspectives on Environment and Development
     ARTH 303. History of Design
     ARTH 474. The New Media and Contemporary Art
     ARTH 476. Modern Architecture
     GEOG 322. Agricultural Systems
     GEOG 325. Environmental Ethics
     GEOG 344. Economic Geography and Development Issues
     HIST 305. History of Science and Christianity
     HIST 326. The Automobile in 20th Century America
     HIST 327. Technology in America
     HIST 328. History of Science, 1534-1859
     HIST 329. History of Science Since 1859
     HIST 405. Travel and Exploration
     HIST 427. U.S. Environmental History
     HIST 443. Modern American Technology and Culture
     HIST 481. Early Modern Europe: New Worlds of Exploration & Science
     ISAT 231. Political Economy of Technology and Science
     ISAT 311. Role of Energy in Modern Society
     ISAT 411. Energy Economics and Policy
     ISAT 421. Environmental Policy and Regulation
     ISAT 456. Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Biotechnology
     ISAT 471. Transportation: Energy, Environment and Society
     ISAT 477. Complex Systems and How They Fail
     PHIL 300. Knowledge and Belief
     PHIL 395. Philosophy and Scientific Inquiry
     SOCI 311. Sociology of the Environment
     SOCI 316. Space, Time and the Human Social Environment
     SOCI 366. Sociology of Knowledge
     SOCI 375. Medical Sociology
     WRTC 350. Science and Technology in Literature  


Special topics courses not listed can be applied to the minor with prior approval of the program coordinator.