Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary field that advances historical, philosophical, and social scientific understandings of science and technology.

Science and Technology Studies (STS) puts science and technology in cultural context, tracing how they shape our lives today, and open different avenues to the future. Rensselaer’s STS Department is internationally known for its global reach, theoretical breadth, and ethical engagement. Faculty and students conduct research around the world, drawing widely on social, political, literary, and feminist theories. The Department has particular depth in environmental studies, science studies, design studies, engineering studies, and the study of controveries around food, water, energy, new technology, and pollution.

Building on diverse disciplinary perspectives as well as deep interdisciplinarity,  Rensselaer STS faculty and students research a wide array of topics as sociocultural and political phenomena:

  • addiction and drug policy
  • shale oil and gas development
  • air pollution governance
  • culturally situated design
  • environmental information systems
  • genetics, toxicology, and the neurosciences
  • artificial intelligence and web science
  • engineering practices and ethics
  • public health in global context
  • digital humanities infrastructure

Rensselaer’s STS faculty play leading roles in the Society for Social Studies of Science, the main professional organization representing the full breadth of STS scholarship. Rensselaer’s STS faculty are also well recognized in disciplines ranging from anthropology, history, and philosophy to political science, and sociology, and they are active in a wide range of disciplinary organizations such as the American Anthropological Association and the Society for the History of Technology.  Faculty, students and alumni of Rensselaer’s STS graduate program are known for their intellectual vitality, collegiality, and commitment to social justice issues.