HPSC0073 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies (Teaching)

HPSCGA01 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies | Professor Joe Cain | UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)

Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary field in which science and technology is examined from a number of different perspectives. (“Science” here is broadly understood and can include science, technology, medicine or mathematics.) Perspectives here are divided into History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) and Science and Society (SAS) topics. HPS includes history of science and philosophy of science, as well as integrated approaches to both. SAS includes sociology of science, science policy studies, and studies of science communication, engagement, and evaluation. This module introduces students to some of the key ideas, arguments and readings in HPS and SAS, collectively STS. It acts as a bridge to the specialized option modules. 

The formal UCL code for this module is HPSC0073. It formerly used the module code HPSCGA01.

This module is taught by the academic community in UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS). Professor Joe Cain delivers lectures on this module, contributes to overall module design, and contributes to assessment.

Prepare for HPSC2020 during the summer

We recommend three steps to take in preparation for HPSC0073. 

1. Read books on Preparatory Reading List

You should have received from STS a list of preparatory readings. We do not expect you to read them all prior to the start of your degree. Rather, you should select several for close reading, and several for casual reading. Those works form the general backdrop to the programme, and you’ll hear frequent references to them in many modules. 

2. Read STS1book

The STS1book for 2020-21 is Amanda Rees and Charlotte Sleigh. 2020. Human (Animal) (Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-78914-214-3. The aim of the STS1book is to bring together everyone in the STS community at UCL through discussions and reflection on one book over the academic year. More on the STS1book programme.

3. Read New Scientist, Nature, and Science

New Scientist presents some of the best science journalism for general audiences. Science and Nature provide the same for more knowledgable audiences. You should be reading widely about science as part of your general university experience. 

If you prefer to read paper editions, check your local public library. Also check their digital services, as many subscribe to “as paper” digital editions of the International version of the journal. I give some advice on how to access New Scientist in a video for another module, HPSC0019.

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