Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Register for the STP Mixer in October

To follow up after the success of our first symposium this spring and bridge the long tine until our symposium in spring 2011, we will organize a mixer on October 20! Join the event and connect with other researchers, students and groups from the greater Cambridge area, interested in the intersection of Science, Technology and Policy. The event will start at 7:00pm, location is Dudley House at the southwest corner of Harvard Yard.

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  • blog
  • August 25th, 2010

Review of the first STP Crossroads Symposium

On May 1, 2010, almost 70 members of various groups, societies, and organizations in the Cambridge area who work in science, technology and policy came together to, for the first time, meet one another.  This inaugural event, known as the Science Technology & Policy Crossroads, offered an unprecedented opportunity to these groups to encounter, engage with, and learn about one another; in so doing, they took the first steps toward forming what has the potential to become an extraordinarily important and influential community.

In this event, the attendees first observed and participated in an engaging panel discussion on the nature, variety, and intricacy of the intersection of science, technology and policy.  Our panelists included New York Times best-selling author and accomplished science journalist Chris Mooney, the Union of Concerned Scientists? Climate and Energy Program Outreach Coordinator Jean Sideris, and biological engineer and MIT Science Policy Initiative co-founder Gerard Ostheimer.  (A fourth panelist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute coastal researcher Christopher Reddy, was unfortunately but understandably called away to assist with the coastal crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.)  The panel was moderated brilliantly by Professor Sheila Jasanoff, the Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  After a 45 minute discussion among the panelists regarding their personal relationships with science, technology and policy, the floor was opened to questions, and the audience members probed the panelists for another three-quarters of an hour with questions ranging from practical advice for young citizen scientists to solutions to deep cultural and institutional limitations in the relationship between the science, technology and policy communities.

After the panel and a brief coffee-and-snack break, the attendees and panelists broke into four sub-sessions, each covering a different aspect of the STP intersection.  Topics ranged from the relationship between scientists and the media to the nature and importance of innovation and technology policy.  Though these panels were schedule to last 25-30 minutes, most went well over time as the participants and attendees enthusiastically discussed and debated numerous questions.  The event ended with an hour long open mixer with drinks and food,
offering the attendees and participants an opportunity to meet each other and make connections for the future.

The overwhelming consensus among the members of the STP Crossroads coordinating committee is that the event was a remarkable success.  Everyone participating and attending seem highly enthusiastic, not only about the details and discussions of the forum, but even more about the potential of building a wide and deeply rooted community.  Already many of these groups are communicating and cooperating to a degree that was simply not present before.  It was always our hope that this event would be the first of many; and the response from those who attended the event as to whether these meetings should continue has been a resounding ?YES!?  As such, those of us who put together this event are already eagerly looking ahead to the next event, which may occur as soon as this fall.  Such an event, should it happen, would offer a low-key opportunity near the beginning of the academic calendar for all these varied and fascinating groups to become reacquainted, open lines of communication for the year to come, and lay the groundwork for a larger, more public event in the
late winter or early spring.

A gallery with further pictures from the event can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stpcrossroads/sets/72157624909434563/

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  • blog
  • March 2nd, 2010

Profile: Technology and Policy Student Society

The Technology and Policy Student Society (TPSS) is a student group devoted to the welfare of graduate students in MIT’s Technology and Policy Program. In addition to providing a welcome social outlet, TPSS also coordinates lunch talks with prominent figures, maintains relationships with alumni, cultivates contacts for career opportunities, advises the TPP faculty and staff on student issues such as curriculum, and coordinates intramural sports teams. For more information, feel free to contact TPSS.

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  • blog
  • March 2nd, 2010

Profile: MIT HASTS

MIT’s Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) trains scholars to study science and technology as activities situated in social and cultural contexts. HASTS faculty examine expert as well as popular engagement with the processes and products of technological and scientific work, and conduct research across a spectrum of geographical areas and historical periods.

Faculty members from History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society share responsibility for teaching the required graduate courses and for working with students in individual tutorials, reading courses, and dissertation research.

HASTS faculty and students employ historical, ethnographic, and sociological methods and theories to investigate a wide range of topics, including:

  • cultures of engineering
  • the making of scientific tools and theories
  • conventions of laboratory practice
  • science and technology in military enterprise
  • the relation of technology to economic institutions
  • the relation of science and law
  • the politics of race and science
  • knowledge-production in biomedicine and life sciences
  • agricultural and environmental history
  • science education
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  • blog
  • March 2nd, 2010

Profile: MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society

Scholars in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) conduct research at that meeting point, from the history of science and technology to anthropology, sociology, and literature. Scholars in STS ask “How do changes in science and technology affect what it means to be human?” and, conversely, “How do science and technology express human values?”

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  • blog
  • March 2nd, 2010

Profile: Harvard Program on Science, Technology, and Society

The Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government is dedicated to enhancing the quality of research, education, and public debate on the role of science and technology in contemporary societies. Through integrated, cross-disciplinary initiatives in research, teaching, training, and public outreach the Program seeks to develop foundational, policy-relevant insights into the nature of science and technology, and the ways in which they both influence and are influenced by society, politics, and culture. Among the fields that significantly contribute to the STS Program’s core mission are science and technology studies, anthropology, comparative politics, history, government, law, and sociology.

The Program takes as its point of departure salient issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. It illuminates these through rigorous and sustained research on both national and international topics. Research projects in the STS Program range broadly across the legal, political, and cultural studies of science and technology, but program faculty and fellows have developed a special focus on topics involving the life sciences, especially genetics, biotechnology, and the environment.

The Program addresses several broad and overlapping constituencies:

  • Harvard University students, faculty, fellows, and visiting scholars interested in science, technology, and society;
  • Kennedy School faculty and students with policy interests that intersect with developments in science, technology, medicine, and society;
  • Harvard scientists active in or concerned with social and ethical issues in science, engineering, and medicine;
  • Boston area faculty and students, including those from MIT, who share disciplinary interests in science and technology studies;
  • Scientists, policymakers, journalists, museum workers, and others concerned with the ethical, legal, and social implications of contemporary science and technology.

To serve these constituencies, the STS Program sponsors a weekly discussion group, public lectures and panels, and occasional larger events such as conferences and workshops, often in collaboration with other Harvard academic units and research centers.

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  • blog
  • March 2nd, 2010

Profile: HARVARD GSAS Science Policy Group

This group was established to educated and engage scientists in the public policy issues, especially those that are a result of, and directly effect, scientific advancement.  The Group also aims to encourage improvements to the communication of science to the media and public. It provides Harvard research communities with opportunities to explore and inform the public debate on important scientific issues.

Activities include topical discussion sessions, mixers, practical workshops, invited speakers, debates, panel discussions, and direct communication between individual researchers and state and federal legislators. By bringing together interested scientists on these issues the Group seeks to facilitate cross-campus interaction and interdisciplinary discussion.  The group also runs a blog and list-serve for science policy related events at Harvard; to view or subscribe visit http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/societyofscientists/. For more information contact Alison Hill (alhill at fas.harvard.edu) or Andrew Leifer ( leifer at fas.harvard.edu) for more information.

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/societyofscientists/about/

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  • blog
  • March 2nd, 2010

Profile: MIT Science Policy Initiative

The Science Policy Initiative (SPI) at MIT aims to educate students in the public policy of science, technology, research and innovation and provide mechanisms for putting this knowledge into practice.

Monthly meeting and discussion group is on the 1st Tuesday of each month, and is generally held in MIT room 56-030 at 6pm. Contact Scott Carlson (scottmc [at] mit.edu) for more information.

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