VCU’s Science, Technology and Society (STS) Program began in 2006 with the recognition that the university’s wealth of program and resources – ranging from the VCU School of Medicine to the School of the Arts to the new PH.D. program in Media, Art, and Text (MATX) – has made it uniquely positioned to create an interdisciplinary program, which integrates medicine, engineering, science, humanities and social science students.
The STS Program’s mission is to encourage all members of the VCU community and Richmond-area community to think broadly about scientific, technological, and medical work – not just across disciplines, but also across C.P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’ divide – through campus and community lectures and events, coordinated curricular planning, and faculty research and teaching.
STS has pursued its mission though several ongoing initiatives, including:
- A thematic STS Speakers Series, which began in the Fall of 2006, and typically brings 3-4 nationally renowned scholars, scientists, and artists to the VCU campus each year.
- Recently, STS@VCU has partnered with a local science café, Science Pub RVA, to host
jointly-sponsored events at Richmond-area establishments in a format that aimed at inviting the wider community to participate in discussions about science, its history, and larger impact in modern society.
- A minor in Medical Humanities, which draws on STS-related courses taught throughout VCU’s College of Humanities & Sciences, to provide VCU undergraduate students, who have an interest in the health sciences, with an academic program focused on the social and cultural aspects of health care.
- A regularly-offered curriculum of undergraduate courses focused on the history of science, technology, and medicine, which VCU students my take as part of a Medical Humanities minor, a degree in History, or as upper-level elective courses.
- Included in the STS curriculum is a general education course, SCTS 200: Science in
Society: Values, Ethics, Politics, which STS faculty typically offer every Fall semester, and which VCU students make take as a Tier II Core course that satisfies the social/ behavioral sciences requirement.
- Ongoing research projects, conducted by STS faculty, on various aspects of the history of science and medicine, science education, and the role of science in society.