Science Technology & Society (STS)
This course explores ethical, social, political, and religious issues associated with science and technology. For many people, the practice of science is the pursuit of knowledge, while the application of technology involves tools that may have a positive impact on society, depending upon the actions of those using them. Students in this course will analyze contemporary challenges to those views, through the use of case studies and theoretical investigations (including fiction and film). The course will confront both science and technology with questions about knowledge, expertise, progress, and neutrality. By the end of the class, students should have a richer perspective on the values and challenges of science and technology within society. Prerequisite: “C” or better in COMP 101 Pre- or Co-requisite: Lab science 3 credits (3 lecture hours) spring semester This course satisfies the Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement and the SUNY General Education Requirement for Social Science.
An exploration of the relationship between the natural world and human attempts to understand it (science) and control it (technology). The distinction between what is natural and what is technological often informs human discourse in terms of what is permissible and what is possible. Students will survey and critique the ethical, social, and scientific distinctions between the natural world and the human world. To this end, the course will take a broad view of technology to include human artifacts and technological systems, but will also grapple with objects at the boundaries of technology and nature – domesticated animals, designed babies, and other genetic and biological “enhancements” and “reassignments.” Prerequisites: STS 101, or PHIL 201 or permission of instructor. 3 credits (3 lecture hours) fall semester. This course satisfies the Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement and the SUNY General Education Requirement for Social Science.
This course will examine the contemporary transformation in human interaction via computer technologies. Topics investigated through reading and research include: new concepts of space and time; electronic subjectivity and anonymity; new representations of gender, race and class; emergence of new forms of expression; localization and the trend in networked individualism and the impact of hypertext and multimedia technologies on human thinking and learning. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission from the instructor. 3 credits (3 lecture hours), fall semester This course satisfies the Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement and the SUNY General Education Requirement for Social Science.
This is an advanced topics course focusing on the history of science and medicine. The course surveys human understandings of the nature of the universe and of human beings, beginning with the Neolithic peoples and continuing through ancient cultures such as the Chinese and Greeks and on into the early development of modem science in Europe. It ends with a discussion of the broad developments in science and medicine occurring in the past 200 years of human history. This course can be taken for credit only once as either HIST 380 or STS 380. Prerequisite: COMP 101 "C" or better. 3 credits (3 lecture hours) fall or spring This course satisfies the Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement and the SUNY General Education Requirement for Western Civilization.
This course focuses on a specific set of issues relating to how science and/or technology engage the larger social world. The issue set is examined in detail from a variety of perspectives (historical, philosophical, sociological, etc.). This course is designed to give upper-division students in the major an opportunity to explore a rapidly changing world in-depth. Topics vary from semester to semester. Topics selected will center around the social dimensions of recent or highly influential developments in science and technology, and might include subjects like gender and technology, modernism and science, or non-western scientific traditions. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and permission of instructor 3 credits (3 lecture hours) fall or spring semester This course satisfies the Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement and the SUNY General Education Requirement for Humanities.