STS.004 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate

Science, Technology, & World


Quiz Review

Materials to Review

Lecture notes, powerpoint slides

Downes, “What is STS?”

Marx, Hazardous Concept" and exchange with Kranzberg

Marx and Smith (eds.) intro

Autour and Dorn article

Williams chapter 2, Retooling

MIT 150 exhibit website (overview, nto details)

Study Questions

What does STS stand for?

STS has variously been described as an inter-, multi-, or even transdisciplinary field.

What are some of the disciplines that have contributed to its evolution so far?

What are STS activities at MIT past or present beyond the Program in STS?

When did STS emerge as an academic field? (Downes)

What was going on in the larger world that encouraged this emergence? (Downes)

What are some common core convictions shared by STS scholars? (Downes)

What are some key questions asked in STS studies?

What are the main points of Leo Marx’s article?

The history of the word and concept technology (anachronism; semantic void)

What the word and concept are hazardous (reification)

Possible ways to diminish the hazards

Technological determinism: What does this mean? Give some examples (Marx and Smith intro)

Context: What does this mean? Give some examples (Marx, Marx and Kranzberg; video on waterworks)

Social construction of technology / technological systems: What does this mean? Give some examples (Autour and Dorn)

Actor networks as a technique for answering the question “what / who is society here?” and for integrating human and non-human agents

Agency and causality in history: Give some examples of co-evolution or reflexivity

Give some examples of the way engineering has evolved into a broader enterprise of “technology” (Retooling)

At MIT Today, how does the curriculum reflect STS concerns? As a student, when are you aware of being educated in science? In engineering? In technoscience or some other mix?

What are some ways in which MIT as an institution polarized around science and engineering tries to influence the larger world?

What other questions do you have about STS that we should discuss further this term?

This is also available as a PDF.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2013
Learning Resource Types
Presentation Assignments
Written Assignments
Instructor Insights