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Science and Technology Studies

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) program at Virginia Tech provides opportunities for students to pursue M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from our center located in Falls Church. The STS program explores the relationship between science, technology, and society using both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. In the past two decades numerous interdisciplinary graduate programs in STS have emerged primarily at major research universities. Virginia Tech is the largest of these programs in the U.S. with over 50 affiliated faculty and over 70 graduate students enrolled both at NVC and at the home campus in Blacksburg.

Students in the STS program come from a wide range of backgrounds including: history, anthropology/sociology, philosophy, the natural and physical sciences, engineering, and numerous professional disciplines. The research and scholarly pursuits of students and faculty cross a wide range of disciplinary boundaries. Graduates emerge with an ability to identify and examine the conceptual and social dimensions of science and technology simultaneously and in historical perspective.

Is the STS field of study appropriate for you? In order to help better decide if this interdisciplinary field is what you are looking for we highly recommend that you read a small book titled "An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies" by S. Sismondo. While the book is oriented to undergraduates, it outlines the major veins of thought in the emerging field. There is also a graduate-level book titled "Science Studies: An Advanced Introduction" by D. Hess which may also help you make your decision about this field.

Related Links

Science and Technology Studies Program Contacts

School of Public and International Affairs

See Main STS website for degree requirements and further information.

News and Announcements:

Student Information:

Contacts:

Dr. Dr. Janet Abbate
Acting Director of Science and Technology Studies
Director, Graduate Program in STS
7054 Haycock Road, Rm. 441, Falls Church, VA 22043
Contact Janet

Course and program options:

To become a graduate student in the STS program, it is recommended that you first take some courses as a Commonwealth Campus (CC) student. Up to 12 credits taken as a CC student can be counted toward your degree, if you are admitted. This simple application can be found through the main website at www.nvgc.vt.edu. Please apply on line and be sure and get your photocopies of transcripts and proof of residency to the registrar's assistants in Falls Church. If you have problems with registration please contact Graduate Student Services Office at GSSO_NCR@vt.edu or you can call the main GSSO phone number (703-538-TECH).

The Northern Virginia STS program is designed for people who work in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Courses are offered at night and sometimes on the Internet. Blacksburg faculty also work with Northern Virginia students by serving on thesis and dissertation committees. Options in History, Philosophy, and Social/Policy Studies of Science and Technology (Certificate, M.S., Ph.D.)

Spring 2013 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5404 Modern American Science Janet Abbate Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS 5106 Contemporary Issues in S&T (core class) Sonja Schmid Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS/NSEG 5984 Nuclear Security: Nonproliferation and Safeguards Schmid and Pierson Thurs 7:00- 9:45PM NVC

Note: Fall 2012 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5105 Contemporary Issues in the Social Study of S&T (core class) Barbara Allen Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS 5306 Main Themes in the Philosophy of S & T (core class) Ashley Shew Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS 5424 Introduction of STS (required for new students) Barbara Allen and Skip Fuhrman Tues 7:00- 9:45PM NVC
STS 6234 Energy Policy: Historical and Contemporary Issues Sonja Schmid Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC

Note: Summer 2012 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5206 History of Technology (12 week extended course) Shannon Brown Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS 6674 Advanced Topics: Citizen Engagement with Emerging Technologies (12 week extended course) David Tomblin Wed 7:00- 9:45PM NVC

Note: Spring 2012 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5514 Research Designs and Practices for STS Daniel Breslau Wed. 7:00-9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5205 History of Science (core class) Janet Abbate Tues. 7:00-9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5614 Intro to S & T Policy (core class) Sonja Schmid Mon. 7:00-9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6664 Advanced Topics in S & T Policy: Dynamics of Policy and Risk Sonja Schmid Thurs. 7:00-9:45PM Falls Church

Fall 2011 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
HIST 5984 Historical Methods (Oral history focus) (required for history track & recommended for those wanting interview methods) Beverly Bunch-Lyons Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS 5424 Introduction to STS Janet Abbate Mon 7:00- 9:45PM NVC
STS 5106 Contemporary Issues in S&T (core class-prerequisite STS 5105) Sonja Schmid Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC
STS 6244 History, Culture, and Politics of Internet Janet Abbate Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM NVC

Summer 2011 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5424 STS Perspectives on Food (also recommended for beginning STS students) Polly Maclaine Pont Wed 7:00- 9:45PM (12 weeks) Falls Church
STS 6834 Large-Scale Socio-technical Disasters David Tomblin Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM (12 weeks) Falls Church

Spring 2011 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5306 Philosophy of Science & Technology (core course taught by V-Tel) Jacob Stegenga Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5404 Modern American Science Janet Abbate Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6544 Science, Technology, and Labor Janet Abbate Thurs 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5614 Intro to S&T Policy (core class, will also be offered in-person Spring 2012) Sonja Schmid Tues (V-Tel) 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6674 Capstone-registration by permission of instructor-email instructor for syllabus Barbara Allen TBD Falls Church


Fall 2010 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5105(core class-offered every other year) Soc Study of Science and Technology
There are required readings for 1st class. Please contact instructor.
Barbara Allen Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6534 International and Multicultural Science & Technology Janet Abbate Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5305 (core class-tentatively offered every year) Philosophy of Science & Technology Daniel Parker Wed (V-Tel) 7:00-9:45PM Falls Church

Summer 2010 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 6234 History and Culture of IT Janet Abbate Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5206 (core class) History of Technology Shannon Brown Tues 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church

Spring 2010 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5205(core class) Main Themes in the History of Science and Technology Janet Abbate Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6664 Advanced Topics in Science and Technology Policy Janet Abbate Thurs 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5424 Science, Technology and Democracy David Tomblin Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5444 Issues in Bioethics Doris Zallen Mon 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church (V-Tel from Blacksburg)

Fall 2009 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5206 (core class) History of Technology Shannon Brown Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5106 Sociology of S & T (core class) Nicole Mogul Thurs 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6234 History & Culture of IT Janet Abbate Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6834 Nuclear Negotiations: History and Policy of Weapons and Energy Anne Fitzpatrick and Sonja Schmid Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church

Note: Summer 2009 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5306 (core class-no prerequisites) Main Themes in the Philosophy of Science and Technology Lee Zwanziger Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6614 Science, Technology and Design Shannon Brown Tues 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church

Spring 2009 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5205 (core class) Hist of Science Janet Abbate Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6674 Capstone Janet Abbate TBD Falls Church
STS 5424 Energy, Society, and Human Values William Shields Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
HIST 5104 (required for history track) Historical Methods Beverly Bunch-Lyons Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church

Fall 2008 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5105 Contemporary Issues in STS Nicole Mogul Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5206 History of Science and Technology Shannon Brown Tues 7:00- 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5404 Modern American Science Janet Abbate Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5424 Topics in STS: Technologies/Cultures of Weapons of Mass Destruction Anne Fitzpatrick W 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church

Summer, 2008 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5614 Introduction to S & T Policy Steve Nelson Wed 6:30 - 9:00PM (12 week course across both summer sessions) Falls Church
STS 6324 AT: History of Urban Infrastructure Shannon Brown Tues 6:30 - 9:00PM (12 week course across both summer sessions) Falls Church

Spring, 2008 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS/PAPA 6664 Advanced Topics in Public Policy: Homeland Security as a Complex System of Systems Randall Murch Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5305 Main Themes in the Philosophy of S & T Lee Zwanziger Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6614 Culture, History, Politics of the Internet Janet Abbate Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6534 International and Multicultural Issues in Science and Technology Janet Abbate Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church

Fall, 2007 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 6334 Technological Knowledge Joe Pitt Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5205 History of Science (core class) Janet Abbate Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6614 Science Technology and Design Shannon Brown Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 5106 Sociology of S&T (core class) Barbara Allen and Nicole Mogul Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Alexandria
TBA Capstone Barbara Allen Contact instructor Contact instructor

 

Summer, 2007 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 6334 Advanced Topics: Science and Religion Barbara Reeves Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Falls Church
STS 5306 Main Themes in Philosophy of Modern Science & Technology II Lee Zwanziger Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Falls Church
STS 6234 History of Military Technology Shannon Brown Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

Note: The Summer 2007 Semester STS courses will be held for a 12-week period.

 

Spring, 2007 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5105 Soc Study of S & T (core class) Barbara Allen Mon 7:00 - 9:30PM Alexandria
STS/PAPA 6664 Adv Topics in S&T Policy Janet Abbate Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5444 Bioethics Lee Zwanziger Wed 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church

 

Fall, 2006 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 6674 Science Technology and Labor Janet Abbate Mon 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5206 Main Themes in the History of Science and Technology (core class) Shannon Brown Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6624 Advanced Topics in Life Science and Medicine: "Public Health: History, Policy and Politics" Lynne Snyder Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

 

Summer, 2006 courses to include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5305 Philosophy of Science and Technology (core class) Lee Zwanziger Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6234 History of Urban Infrastructure (No prerequisite) Shannon Brown Tue 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6534 Metaphor in Science and Technology (No prerequisite) Barbara Reeves Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Falls Church

Note: The Summer 2006 Semester STS courses will be held for a 12-week period.

 

Spring, 2006 courses include:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5444 Issues in Bioethics Lee Zwanziger Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6234 TS: Information and communications technologies: History and culture Janet Abbate Tue 6:30 - 9:00PM Alexandria
STS 6664 Advanced Topics in S+T Policy: Technology and Homeland Security (cross-referenced with PAPA) Phil Kronenberg Thu 6:30 - 9:00PM Alexandria
STS      Final Study Class for Advanced PhD Students (STS Capstone) Janet Abbate Thu 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church

 

Fall, 2005 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5205 History of Science (core class) Janet Abbate Mon 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5614 Intro to Science and Technology Policy Steve Nelson Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6234 TS: History of Military Technology Shannon Brown Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6834 TS: Environment and Citizen Participation Barbara Allen Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

 

Summer, 2005 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5206 History of Technology (core class) Shannon Brown Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Falls Church
STS 5306 Philosophy of Science and Technology (core class) Lee Zwanziger Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5424 Topics Course: Communication in Knowledge-making Dr. Wagner Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

 

Spring, 2005 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5106 Contemporary Issues in STS Barbara Allen Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5404 Development of Modern American Science Janet Abbate Tues 7:00 - 9:45PM Alexandria
STS 5444 Issues in Bioethics Lee Zwanziger Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
HIST 5104 Historical Methods Beverly Bunch-Lyons Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

 

Fall, 2004 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5105 Main themes in Sociology of Science and TechnologyBarbara Allen Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6234 AT: History of Urban Infrastructure Shannon Brown Tue 7:00 - 9:45PM Alexandria
STS 6674 AT: Science Technology and Labor Janet Abbate Mon 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6614 AT: History/Culture/Politics of the Internet Janet Abbate Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

Summer, 2004 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5614 Introduction to Science+Technology Policy (core class) Steve Nelson Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5205 Main Themes in the History of S+T (core class) Barbara Reeves Thur 6:30 - 9:15PM V-tel to NVC, Falls Church
STS 5305 Main Themes in the Philosophy of Modern S+T (core class) Valerie Hardcastle Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6664 AT: Soc., Cult. and Political Dimensions of Tech Transfer (elective) Sally Rood Mon 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

Spring, 2004 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5106 Contemporary Issues in STS (prerequisite STS 5105) Barbara Allen Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 5306 Main Themes in the Philosophy of Science & Technology Lee Zwanziger Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6674 Elective: Visual Cultures of Science and Technology Michael Dennis Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6664 AT: The Virtual State and Homeland Security Phil Kronenberg Thurs 7:00 - 9:45PM Alexandria
STS ???? STS Capstone Eileen Crist Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Falls Church

Fall, 2003 courses included:

Course
Number
Course Title Professor Time Location
STS 5206 Main Themes in the History of Science and Technology Shannon Brown Wed 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6234 AT:History of Science during the Cold War Michael Dennis Thurs 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria
STS 6614 AT: Kuhn, Popper and Science Practices Scott Hauger Mon 7:00 - 9:45PM Falls Church
STS 6834 AT: Advanced Social Theory Barbara Allen Tues 6:30 - 9:15PM Alexandria

 

Past Courses and Events