What is STS?
...Science and technology are among the most powerful forces transforming our world today and influence the very character and agenda of modern societies. Science and technology transform social institutions like work and the family, produce new clothing and food products, influence economic growth and international affairs, and have the capacity to prolong life, destroy life and even transform the earth’s climate. The twin forces of science and technology are pervasive, powerful and come with a complicated array of ethical and social dilemmas that affect both our daily lives and our world. A person, therefore, cannot be considered well-educated or participate as an informed citizen, without knowledge of how science and technology interact with society.
Courses in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at St. Thomas University examine the ways in which technical, scientific and social phenomena interact and influence each other, and they do so from the perspective of the humanities and social sciences, using a critical and interdisciplinary approach, by drawing on the disciplines of history, philosophy, ethics, political science and sociology. Courses in STS examine such topics as the relationship between religion and science, the ironic and unintended consequences of technology, the environmental impact of industry, the use of animals in scientific experiments, the impact of disease epidemics and natural disasters on society, the implications of exploring space, the chemistry of everyday life, and how science and technology have changed our perceptions of nature. Students learn about current research projects, how scientists conduct research and how emerging technologies shape society. Integrated in approach, all STS courses aim to enhance understanding of what science and technology are and how they both influence and are influenced by society. Special importance is given to exploring current issues and controversies in science and technology and today’s world.