Science Studies—Science, Technology, and Society Minor

5045 Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Muir College

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Minor

The science, technology, and society minor is designed to provide students with an understanding of how scientific knowledge and technological development interact with social values, norms, and institutions. The classes bring together students from the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities in an in depth, critical exploration of urgent questions about our increasingly techno-scientific society. Students primarily interested in the natural sciences and engineering will have an opportunity to explore the social, political, and ethical implications of their selected fields of specialization while students focused in the humanities and social sciences will have a chance to study the processes, products. and effects of science and technology from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The minor builds on UC San Diego’s world-famous graduate program in science studies, and the classes are taught by faculty drawn from the Departments of History, Sociology, Philosophy, and Communication. What unites these disparate disciplinary perspectives is a critical and analytical approach to questions of truth, power, expertise, agency, and legitimacy as they relate to science and society.

To complete the minor, students will take a total of seven upper-division elective courses (twenty-eight units), at least five of which must be upper-division, from the list below. Within their selection of seven classes, they will be required to take at least one course in three out of the minor’s four subfields—philosophy, history, sociology, communication—to assure that they will be exposed to at least some of the wide methodological range that characterizes the field of science studies.

Students interested in either taking science studies courses or completing the minor are encouraged to discuss their interests and develop a course of study with an affiliated faculty member of the program at their earliest convenience.

For further information, please contact the minor program’s coordinator at the Science Studies Office (HSS 5045) at (858) 534-0491 or

List of Courses

(arranged by subfields)


COMM 106I. CI: Internet Industry

COMM 108E. Politics of Bodies: Embodiment in Theory and Practice

COMM 112M. IM: Communication and Social Machines

COMM 112T. Interaction and Mediation: Interaction with Technology

COMM 166. Surveillance, Mediation, and the Risk Society

COMM 172. Advanced Studies in Mediation and Interaction

Critical Gender Studies

CGS 2A. Gender and Institutions (Medicine)

Culture, Art, and Technology

CAT 1. Culture, Art, and Technology 1

Ethnic Studies

ETHN 102. Science, Technology, and Society: Race, Gender, Class

ETHN 157. Madness and Urbanization


HISC 106. The Scientific Revolution

HISC 107. The Emergence of Modern Science

HISC 108. Life Sciences in the Twentieth Century

HISC 115. History of Modern Medicine

HISC 116. History of Bioethics

HISC 131. Science, Technology, and Law

SIO 296. Science, Conflict, and Policy


PHIL 32. Philosophy and the Rise of Modern Science

PHIL 145. Philosophy of Science

PHIL 146. Philosophical Foundations of Physics

PHIL 148. Philosophy and the Environment

PHIL 152. Philosophy of Social Science


SOCI 134E. The Making of Modern Medicine

SOCI 135. Medical Sociology

SOCI 136E. Sociology of Mental Illness: A Historical Approach

SOCI 136F. Sociology of Mental Illness in Contemporary Society

SOCI 138. Genetics and Society

SOCI 166. Sociology of Knowledge

SOCI 167. Science and War

SOCI 168E. Sociology of Science

SOCI 171. Technology and Society

Urban Studies

USP 149. Madness and Urbanization

Visual Arts

VIS 159. History of Art and Technology