Science and Technology Studies

Science and technology studies (STS) is defined as the interdisciplinary study of the social, cultural, and political dynamics that inform and shape science and technology and how these in turn inform and shape future society, politics, and culture. The premise adopted in STS is that science and technology are not value-free, apolitical activities as has tended to be assumed in “realist” accounts. Rather, science and technology are assumed to be informed by values, to be “framed” in ways that privilege particular (often expert) groups, to reflect particular “ways of seeing” the world, and to “perform” social relationships. For this reason, much of STS has sought to develop “socially constructivist” approaches aimed at understanding the role of science in apprehending, measuring, defining, and legitimating social reality.

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