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The Program in Science, Technology, and Society is a dynamic interdisciplinary major that provides students with a liberal arts education for the twenty-first century.

 

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Featured Faculty Publication

Big tobacco focuses on the facts to hide the truth: an algorithmic exploration of courtroom tropes and taboos

The language used by attorneys in tobacco litigation reveals key elements of the strategies deployed by cigarette makers and their courtroom opponents. According to industry lawyers, for example, smokers ‘passed away’ but were never ‘killed’; they always had the ‘ability to quit’ but were not ‘addicted’. Jurors, tobacco attorneys claim, should focus on the individual ‘facts’ of the case but not on the larger ‘truth’ about the industry. Language is, per Bolinger, ‘a loaded weapon,’ which means that words are not innocent conveyers of meaning. There is a subtle micropolitics in human speech, expressed in the kinds of words chosen by one side or another to deploy or to avoid. Robert Proctor explores...

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Sophia Laurenzi
Through conversations with my advisor and people in the STS Honors Program, I shifted my thesis to a more nuanced puzzle: we have so much neuroscience research that shows young adults are still developing, so why is 18 still the hard-line boundary for criminal responsibility? Why has the science not merged with the law?
Sophia Laurenzi, STS Honors Program