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Science, Technology & Society Major

Study the cultural significance and societal effects of science and technology.

Science, Technology and Society (STS) majors and minors explore the effects of science and technology through historical, philosophical and social science lenses.

STS is about knowledge-making practices, so majors take four courses in math, science or engineering to engage in those practices directly.

Other courses may cover concepts like health, disease and disability; policy analysis of technology; the culture of the laboratory; theories of race and genetic engineering; and social networking and the internet.

You’ll choose an elective concentration in a science, an engineering practice, a cognate discipline (philosophy, anthropology, etc.) or an STS issue like policy problems or technological controversies. A final senior seminar includes an independent research project.

In class with Professor Eric Grosfils
In class with Professor Eric Grosfils
In class with Professor Laura Perini
In class with Professor Laura Perini

What You’ll Study

    • Four math, science or engineering courses

    • A course in philosophy of science and technology

    • Two courses in the history of science and technology

    • Choose between a science-technology policy course or one on the anthropology of science and technology

    • Three STS courses focused on a topic of your choice & a senior seminar with an independent project 

To fulfill electives, majors design their own three-course concentration on an interdisciplinary STS topic.

Learning at Pomona

Exercitationes De Generatione Animalium

Exercitationes De Generatione Animalium: Susanne Boden ‘16

Susanne researched English physician William Harvey’s 1651 embryology work and its critical reception at that time.

Haley Marber
Haley Marber ‘17

STS asks you to question every assumption about how knowledge is produced. Regardless of how society advances, critical thinking skills and awareness of connections will always be applicable. As a pre-med student, STS is giving me a contextual and conceptual framework for issues I will face every day in my career.

Faculty & Teaching

STS faculty members are drawn from different departments at Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges. Many are leading scholars in their field and have authored influential publications on topics such as globalization, biomedical imaging, the police state, and cross-species comparisons.

Professor Laura Perini

STS breaks through the ways we’re taught to think about science and technology—as objective, rational and beneficial—to better understand these important aspects of contemporary life. How does technology change our values? How do social and cultural factors influence what counts as sound science? What tactics enable citizens and patients to influence technical and medical authorities? STS uses methods from the humanities and social sciences to investigate issues like these.