Spring Course Added: Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

Introduction to Science and Technology Studies (HUM 354) has been added for Spring 2014. If you are looking for a way to fulfill your humanities requirement in a way that lets you delve into the social side of the technologies that permeate our lives, this could be a class for you. It meets once a week on Tuesdays from 5-7:40 pm in Engineering 1.

This course will acquaint you with theories and methods that social scientists use to answer questions about the relationship between technology and society such as:

-Why are the unintended outcomes of a technological change often more important than the intended ones?

-If society shapes technology, how is it also possible for technology to change our social expectations?

-Is there such a thing as a “useless” technology?

From cybernetics to the Internet, you will find out how the interaction between the technical and the social works, how this changes over time, and how it is useful to your understanding of your own major field of study.

Email Assistant Professor Marie Hicks for questions about this class.


One of technology's many unexpected social consequences was the guillotine. It was used to quickly slaughter thousands of social elites such as Marie Antoinette during the French revolution (rather than to provide death penalty prisoners with a painless death as it was designed to do).