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Science StudiesIn case there should be any doubt about the credentials of Dr. Science, who stars in the widely syndicated public radio sketch series "Ask Dr. Science," each segment concludes by reassuring us that "he has a Master's degree . . . in Science." A general term like "science studies" may seem overly simplistic in our climate of intensive scientific specialization, as the Dr. Science joke implies. But only a broad term like "science studies" can capture adequately the broad range of reflection on the practice of science that has gone hand in hand with scientific specialization-reflection by working scientists, by sociologists, historians, and philosophers of science, and by scholars in other disciplines. An ever-increasing number of US universities are implementing programs in Science Studies, or Science and Technology Studies, to bring together scientists, social scientists, and humanists "to understand how science and technology shape human lives and livelihoods and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology" (sts.wisc.edu). MU does not have a degree program in this area, but we have excellent foundations for a networking group with a Science Studies focus. MU faculty who participated in the initial organization of this group include representatives of six colleges and schools whose research interests range from medieval optics to MRI technology among other cross-disciplinary pursuits. We would like to build this network and include more faculty in our monthly research exchanges, our speaker series, and our other initiatives as we begin to explore the possibilities for new cross-disciplinary collaborations on campus.

We are one the working groups affiliated with the MU Life Sciences and Society Program, from which this description is taken. Our sister organization, Evolutionary Studies, also has a web page.


The prominent Science and Technology Studies programs at the Universities of Wisconsin (referred to above) and California (both Davis and San Diego campuses), Virginia Tech, and many other institutions, have more expansive websites that provide detailed lists of other programs and web resources pertaining to science studies.

Science and Technology Studies, UC-Davis sts.ucdavis.edu

Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech http://www.sts.vt.edu/

Science and Technology Studies, University of Wisconsin www.sts.wisc.edu