Science, Technology, and Society Studies Certificate Program



The Certificate in STSS was developed over a number of years by participants in the Science Studies Network at UW; a vibrant community of faculty and graduate students who share interests in history and philosophy of science, social and cultural studies of science, and equity, ethics and policy issues in the sciences. Check the SSNet website for news about STS speakers, conferences, working groups and much else, on the UW campus and in the region.

The STSS Interdisciplinary Group was recognized by the UW Graduate School in March 2012, and the Certificate was approved by the Graduate School and the Board of Regents in May 2014. Its official launch was Fall 2015; check STSS "Announcements" for news and updates.

STSS Certificate Goals

The STSS Certificate is designed to serve graduate students in the humanities/social sciences and in STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in complementary ways. If you are a student in the humanities and social sciences, our goal is to provide access to interdisciplinary STSS research that will help you situate your disciplinary interests in science and technology in a broader interdisciplinary context. If you are a STEM student, the Certificate offers an opportunity to systematically explore questions about research ethics and science policy, and the history, social context, and philosophy of the research traditions in which you work.

For students in both constituencies, the STSS certificate will make visible the interdisciplinary training many of you are already seeking out informally. The benefits of this include:

  • For social science and humanities students: access to the growing number of faculty positions that require interdisciplinary STSS expertise;
  • For STEM students: demonstration of research ethics training and expertise relevant not only for prospective STEM practitioners who must address normative issues pro-actively, but also for STEM graduates who seek positions as science and technology policy analysts, managers, and advisors;
  • For all students: given the enormous and growing importance of science and technology in the contemporary world, STSS training provides key resources for addressing the challenges posed by scientific and technological innovation, cultivating informed citizenship.

The central learning goals of the certificate are:

  • To develop a critical, historically informed understanding of the STEM fields in social context;
  • To build robust content knowledge of relevant STSS research beyond one's disciplinary program and an appreciation of what different disciplinary research methodologies can contribute to studies of science and technology;
  • To integrate STSS concepts and methods with the core ideas of one's home discipline;
  • To cultivate a sophisticated understanding of research ethics, policy, and equity issues in the sciences and sharpen the critical reasoning skills necessary to navigate normative issues as they arise in practice;
  • To develop the ability to successfully navigate a world where problems will increasingly demand a detailed knowledge of the interaction of science, technology and society.


STSS Governance

The STSS Interdisciplinary Group is responsible for the Certificate as a whole. The Director and a three member Steering Committee, elected by the Interdisciplinary Group, oversee the operation of the Certificate. A somewhat larger group, known as the STSS Network, includes the Interdisciplinary Group as well as faculty who contribute to the introductory course, 'STSS In Action,' and advise the students admitted to the Certificate. For more information, see: STSS Interdisciplinary Group Governance (PDF).

Steering Committee: Leah Ceccarelli (Director), David Ribes, Matthew Weinstein
Interdisciplinary Group :
   Sareeta Amrute (Anthropology, UW-Seattle)
   Leah Ceccarelli (Communication, UW-Seattle)
   Sarah Elwood (Geography, UW-Seattle)
   Stephanie (Malia) Fullerton (Bioethics and Humanities, UW-Seattle)
   Angela Ginorio (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, UW-Seattle)
   Jenna Grant (Anthropology, UW-Seattle)
   Celia Lowe (Anthropology, UW-Seattle)
   Margaret Pugh O'Mara (History, UW-Seattle)
   David Ribes (Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW-Seattle)
   Daniela Rosner (Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW-Seattle)
   Phillip Thurtle (CHID and History, UW-Seattle)
   Adam Warren (History, UW-Seattle)
   Matthew Weinstein (Education, UW-Tacoma)
   Andrea Woody (Philosophy, UW-Seattle)