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Message from the Director

John Willinsky

John Willinsky, STS Director

I want to extend a warm welcome to current and potential students of the Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Stanford. By way of introducing the program, let me say that STS is an intellectually exciting and rewarding area to be working in at Stanford. It both involves and comes to grips with so much of what this university is about. We draw on the social sciences and humanities to study the societal impact of science and technology, whether in the past, present, or future, whether here in the United States or on a global scale.  

Under the exceptional leadership of those who have preceded me, this is one of the nation’s oldest and largest programs in Science, Technology, and Society. It is also one of Stanford’s leading undergraduate programs with its balance of Bachelor of Science and Arts degrees. STS attracts students eager to know more about the social implications and workings of these two broad categories of the human endeavor known as science and technology, even as the meaning of these two terms is hardly a fixed thing. The program’s students are committed to developing the inquiry and analysis skills necessary to appreciating how science and technology shape our understanding of the world, and vice versa. As part of this process, students actually take science and technology classes at Stanford, as well as study their implications. And as a result, students go on to productive careers and lives that contribute to the deliberation and rethinking, the breakthroughs and changes, by which these two areas serve humankind.  

Let me also say that STS is no one thing at Stanford. Its life as a program is constituted by the incredible breadth of intellectual interests that our affiliated faculty bring to the courses on which the program gratefully draws. It is defined by what STS students bring to those classes, as well as to their lives beyond Stanford. It is backed by a terrific staff devoted to creating a strongly educational environment. I continue to look forward to working with students and faculty in this dynamic Program in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford University.   

John Willinsky
Khosla Family Professor of Education
Director, Program in Science, Technology, and Society