Science, Technology, and Society (STS), sometimes called Science and Technology Studies, is an interdisciplinary field concerned with science and technology and their relationship to society. The community of STS scholars at Lafayette applies methods from diverse disciplines to illuminate the historical, social, cultural, ethical, and political dimensions of science and technology. By integrating humanities, social sciences, science, and engineering, we seek to build relationships across campus.
Central to STS work is the understanding that science and engineering are more effective and better suited to support societal goals when students recognize the ways cultural foundations and values drive the work of scientists and engineers. This understanding has benefits for students both within and outside the STEM fields. For those within STEM, their education is strengthened by understanding the role of broader cultural values in the kinds of work they pursue, the opportunities made available, and the structures (institutional, economic, and intellectual) that make their work possible. For those outside the STEM fields, STS helps show how all citizens contribute to the making of science and engineering, to the development of new knowledge, and to the technological choices we confront everyday as citizens in the modern world.