International STS departments

Harvard Program on Science, Technology and Society (US)
This STS Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government is dedicated to enhancing the quality of research, education, and public debate on the role of science and technology in contemporary societies. Through integrated, cross-disciplinary initiatives in research, teaching, training, and public outreach the Program seeks to develop foundational, policy-relevant insights into the nature of science and technology, and the ways in which they both influence and are influenced by society, politics, and culture. Among the fields that significantly contribute to the STS Program’s core mission are science and technology studies, anthropology, comparative politics, history, government, law, and sociology.

Cornell University – Department of Science and Technology Studies (US)
Established in 1991, Cornell’s Department and Graduate Field of S&TS were formed from two previously independent Programs: “Science, Technology and Society” (STS) and “History and Philosophy of Science and Technology” (HPST). The department brought together a group of scholars with convergent interests committed to the rigorous academic advancement of this new and exciting field. Its aim is to bring together faculty and students with diverse backgrounds and interests in a shared effort to study science and technology with special tools for exploring distinctive questions. Their approach throughout is both descriptive (aimed at understanding how science and technology are done) and normative (for example, showing where actual practices and professed norms are in conflict).

MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society (US)
This STS Program was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 to address the unprecedented and momentous integration of science, technology, and society. Faculty and students in the Program address two basic, interrelated questions: how did science and technology evolve as human activities, and what role do they play in the larger civilization? The STS perspective is considered crucial to understanding major events of our time (war and conflict, the economy, health, the environment) and to addressing these and other major public issues (privacy, democracy, education).

Berkeley – Science, Technology and Society Centre (US)
The Science, Technology, and Society Center (STSC) brings together a diverse community of scholars studying the origins, growth, and consequences of scientific and technological knowledge and practice. Taking a broad reading of our domain, including medicine, environment, new media, and related areas, researchers here draw affiliates from the social sciences, the humanistic disciplines, and professional and public policy fields.

University of Michigan – Science, Technology & Society (US)
The U-M Science, Technology & Society Program promotes education and scholarship on the social, political, and cultural dynamics of scientific knowledge, technological change, and medical research and practice. It features an emphasis on international and global STS issues.

STEPS Centre – Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (UK)
The STEPS Centre (University of Sussex) is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement centre uniting development studies with science and technology studies. Their cross-cutting work covers agriculture & food; energy & climate change; health & disease and water & sanitation.

SPRU Centre – Science and Technology Policy Research (UK)
Residing at the University of Sussex, SPRU is the centre of a worldwide network of interdisciplinary researchers addressing the analysis of the rate and direction of scientific change and innovation, the promotion and management of innovation, the regulation of technological risks, the search for effective energy policies and paths to a more sustainable society. SPRU researchers are prominent participants in global academic and policy debates concerning weapons of mass destruction, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nuclear power, climate change, information technology, food safety, technology in development and the roles of public and private research organisations.

UCL – Department on Science and Technology Studies (UK)
This Department at University College London is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science’s history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy. It was founded in 1921 and is award winning for teaching and research, plus for their public engagement programme.

Lancaster – Centre for Science Studies (UK)
Research at this Centre problematises the construction of scientific knowledge and expert authority. Scholars take diverse approaches including feminist STS, actor-network theory (and after), cultural analyses of science, anthropological and postcolonial technoscience studies.The following issues are extended: Health Technologies and New Reproductive Technologies; Large Technical Systems, Risk, and Technical Catastrophe; Information and Communication Technologies, their Design and Human-Computer Interaction; Critical innovation studies;Spatiality, Method, and Organisational analysis; Environmental Philosophy and Public Policy; Military Technologies; Anthropological and Postcolonial Technoscience.

Edinburgh – Science, Technology & Innovation Studies (UK)
Science and technology pervade all aspects of modern life. Think of the impact of vaccines, mobile phones, jet travel or the internet on how we interact with one another and understand own place in society. How have theories of natural selection, advances in quantum physics or new medical theories and technologies changed the way we see ourselves? How have the politics of climate change influenced the science of climate change? Scholars at STIS aspire to tackle such thorny issues. They seek to answer the big questions about how societies both influence and are influenced by science, medicine and technology. Most STIS research is done within the context of the ‘Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation’ (ISSTI) at the University of Edinburgh.

Vienna – Department of Science and Technology Studies (AT)
The Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna aims to foster critical reflexive debate concerning the developments of science, technology and society with scientists and students from all disciplines, but also with wider publics. Its research is mainly organised in third party financed projects, often based on interdisciplinary teamwork and aims at comparative analysis. Originally embedded within the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies of Science since 1987, it was founded as an independent department within the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2004.

Arhus University – Centre for Science, Technology & Society Studies (DK)
STS activities at Aarhus University in Denmark revolve around sociological, anthropological and philosophical theories of relations, networks and constellations spanning traditional distinctions between science, technology and society. That it is neither theoretical possible nor generally desirable to operate with predetermined conceptions of the relation between humans and technologies, and their respective characteristics, is pivotal for works within this field. The complex intermingling of technological artefacts and human beings must be analysed empirically in concrete situations.

Bielefeld – Institute of Science & Technology Studies (GE)
The Institute of Science and Technology Studies (IWT) is concerned with investigating the institutional and epistemic forms of science and technology, their patterns of change, and the accompanying ethical challenges and social consequences. Reflecting on the epistemic, social, and historical dimensions of science and technology requires long-term and interdisciplinary research. Scholars with a background in sociology, philosophy and history, among other disciplines, collaborate at IWT.

Mines ParisTech – Centre for the Sociology of Innovation (FR)
The Center for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI), founded in 1967, became one of the world’s leading research centres in the field of Science and Technology Studies in the 1980s, when Michel Callon and Bruno Latour among others developed a new approach known as the «sociology of translation» or Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Actor-Network Theory proposed an alternative to the debate between realism – knowledge as a reflection of an outside reality – and constructivism – knowledge as the product of human activities -, a debate in which the latter was accused by the former of relativism (knowledge being seen as nothing more than the expression of a certain state of society at a certain point in time). By examining the actual production of reality and knowledge from a resolutely pragmatist point of view, this new approach made it possible to revive the debate on new terms.

University of Liège – SPIRAL Institute (BE)
Since its creation in 1995, the research centre Spiral from the University of Liège developed a unique expertise in the fields of risk analysis and management and public policies appraisal. The research conducted at Spiral fundamentally pertains to a global reflection on governance in a context of scientific uncertainty and dynamics of technological innovation. Activities are distributed among four strategic areas: (i) Risk & governance, (ii) Science & Technology in Society Studies (STS), (iii) Public policy and administration (iv) and Methodological innovations. Spiral is an academic research department that is characterized by a strong interdisciplinary approach. A broad diversity of disciplinary backgrounds is to be found among the collaborators (political science, social science, law, public administration, risk communication, discourse analysis, criminology, anthropology, deontology, political philosophy, environmental science).