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: 3
ISAT 131. Technology, Science, and Society  
HIST 327. Technology in America  
SOCI 315. Science, Technology, and Society  
Elective courses  
Choose five from at least four different programs/majors: 15
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  
ANTH/ARTH/HIST 492. American Material Culture  
ARTH 303. History of Design  
ARTH 474. The New Media and Contemporary Art  
ARTH 376. 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 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.