Carnegie Mellon University

Science and Technology Studies

Courses in the humanities and social sciences provide powerful tools to understand the central role of technology and science in our world.

Students interested in interdisciplinary questions aboutfeeding-the-world-700x400.jpg

  • Ethics and artificial intelligence
  • Environmental history and policy
  • Technology and humanity
  • Rhetoric of science
  • Science and human rights

will find opportunities to explore these themes in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

STS explores how society, politics and culture affect scientific research and technological innovation, and how these, in turn, affect society, politics and culture. Students from STEM fields and those in the humanities and social sciences will find common ground to explore critical issues facing our society. CMU graduates who complete STS minors or coursework are prepared to enter careers in academia as well as public policy, business, law, engineering and medicine.

Academic Offerings

The following undergraduate academic offerings provide opportunities for reflection and analysis on social, cultural, ethical, political and creative themes related to technical and scientific fields.


Minor in Science, Technology and Society

This minor provides interdisciplinary perspectives on the development and meaning of science and technology in modern society. The core courses enable you to explore the philosophical underpinnings, cultural and historical contexts, and economic and literary assessments of the interplay among science, technology, and society. Elective courses enable you to pursue in greater depth and variety of subjects and approaches that build on both the core courses and your primary major.

Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Students pursuing this minor will learn to apply social and scientific perspectives to environmental problems, distinguish among scientific methods for evaluating environmental problems, and identify and assess sources of environmental data. You also will learn to identify environmental justice issues within the context of proposed policy solutions and distinguish among impacts on different communities and groups of stakeholders when considering environmental problems and proposed solutions.

Sample of Courses

Grand Challenge Seminars for First-Year Students:

  • Climate Change
  • AI & Humanity
  • Thinking with Evidence
  • Feeding the Word, Feeding Ourselves

Sample of Recent STS Courses:

  • Environmental Rhetoric
  • In Search of Mind: The History of Psychology
  • Mathematic Revolutions
  • Moneyball Nation: Data in American Life
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Telecommunications Technology and Policy for the Internet Age

Learn more about these courses and others in the Undergraduate Course Catalog.


Jay Aronson

Jay Aronson

Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, History Department

Director, Center for Human Rights Science

Stephen Broomell

Stephen Broomell

Associate Professor, Social and Decision Sciences

Linda Flower

Linda Flower

Professor, English Department


Joel Greenhouse

Professor, Department of Statistics


David Hounshell

David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change (Emeritus), Social and Decision Sciences


Whitney Laemmli

Assistant Professor, History Department


Stephanie Larson

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, English Department

Alex John London

Alex John London

Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy, Philosophy Department

Director, Center for Ethics and Policy

Abigail Owen

Abigail Owen

Assistant Teaching Professor, History Department

Faculty Adviser, Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Christopher Phillips

Christopher Phillips

Associate Professor, History Department

Faculty Director, Minor in Science and Technology Studies

Edmund Russell

Edmund Russell

Professor, History Department

Candace Skibba

Candace Skibba

Associate Teaching Professor of Hispanic Studies, Modern Languages Department

Associate Director, M.A. in Applied Second Language Acquisition

Research on Medical Humanities & Disability Studies


John Soluri

Associate Professor and Director of Global Studies, History Department


Joel Smith

Distinguished Career Teaching Professor, Philosophy Department


Joel Tarr

Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor, History Department


Danielle Wenner

Assistant Professor, Philosophy Department


Necia Werner

Associate Teaching Professor, English Department

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Director of Undergraduate Professional & Technical Writing


James Wynn

Associate Professor, English Department

Kevin Zollman

Kevin Zollman

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Philosophy