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Science, Technology and Society

Science, technology and society (STS) is an internationally recognized field of cross disciplinary study that integrates philosophical, 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 methods for reasoning about and acting upon the natural world and as expressions of human cultures, past and present.

Students learn to scrutinize the ideas, reasoning, values, practices and artifacts embedded in the world they inhabit today. They explore how choices made within various historical, social, economic and political contexts sometimes 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 340. The Invention of Race

 

ANTH 360. Medical Anthropology

 

ANTH 373. Anthropological Perspectives on Environment and Development

 

ARTH 303. History of Design

 

ARTH 376. Modern Architecture

 

CS 330. Societal and Ethical Issues in Computing

 

GEOG 322. Agricultural Systems

 

GEOG 325. Environmental Ethics

 

GEOG 344. Economic Geography and Development Issues

GEOG/ISAT 429. Sustainability: An Ecological Perspective

 

HIST 305. History of Science and Christianity

HIST 306. A History of the Body in the West

 

HIST 326. The Automobile in 20th Century America

 

HIST 327. Technology in America

HIST 404. Science and Society in Early Modern Europe

 

HIST 405. Travel and Exploration

 

HIST 427. U.S. Environmental History

 

HIST 443. Modern American Technology and Culture

 

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 464. Telecommunications in the Public Interest

 

ISAT 471. Transportation: Energy, Environment and Society

 

ISAT 477. Complex Systems and How They Fail

PHIL 396. Philosophy of Physics       

PHIL 397. Philosophy of Space and Time     

PHIL 398. Philosophy of Quantum Theory     

PHIL 410. Philosophy of Science

 

SOCI 311. Sociology of the Environment

 

SOCI 316. Space, Time and the Human Social Environment

 

SOCI 366. Sociology of Knowledge

 

SOCI 375. Medical Sociology

WMST/ISAT 485. Gender Studies in Science

WRTC 358. Writing About Science and Technology      

WRTC 416/SCOM 465. Rhetoric of Environmental Science and Technology

WRTC 458. Scientific and Medical Communication

 

 


 

18

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