Science, Technology and Society

Watch this video to learn more about the Science, Technology and Society program.

What is Science, Technology & Society?

The Science, Technology and Society program is the place where science and technology are examined with the tools of philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies. It equips students to understand where science and technology come from, how they changed over time, how they are embedded in society, and how they in turn affect society. In STS, students explore what scientists do, how this sometimes differs from what they say they do, and how scientific findings impact various publics. STS considers the question of what counts as science, and how science is different from other forms of knowing. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown already, there is no way to consider scientific, medical and technological problems separately from social issues and processes of interpretation. Indeed, whether the public at large trusts or mistrusts science can have grave consequences for both. With its interdisciplinary approach to studying science in society, STS prepares students to work across disciplines and different ways of knowing, and to build bridges between them.

Why at University of Alberta?

Compared to similar programs elsewhere, the University of Alberta STS program emphasizes experimentation and collaboration. Drawing on the University of Alberta's strong tradition of research-creation, art and design, literature, film and media studies, the STS Program brings together mainstay social science approaches to STS with speculative, activist, and participatory design methods from the arts.

What can I do with an STS degree?

For students training to become scientists and engineers, STS enables you to reflect on your own discipline and consider its social impacts from multiple perspectives. The program emphasizes collaboration across disciplines, preparing science and engineering majors to participate in interdisciplinary teams, consider disparate viewpoints, and translate their work for non-scientists.

For students majoring or minoring in Science, Technology and Society, the program prepares you to consider fundamental questions about science and society (e.g., What counts as scientific knowledge and expertise? How do new technologies get made and how do they impact various publics? How is expert knowledge communicated and circulated?) in fields such as law, public health, information technology, science and technology journalism, museum studies, political science, and science education.

Interested in the BA in Science, Technology and Society program? Learn more here.