HKS Authors

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There is growing need for hybrid curricula that integrate constructivist methods from Science and Technology Studies (STS) into both engineering and policy courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, institutional and disciplinary barriers have made implementing such curricula difficult at many institutions. While several programs have recently been launched that mix technical training with consideration of “societal” or “ethical issues,” these programs often lack a constructivist element, leaving newly-minted practitioners entering practical fields ill-equipped to unpack the politics of knowledge and technology or engage with skeptical publics. This paper presents a novel format for designing interdisciplinary coursework that combines conceptual content from STS with training in engineering and policy. Courses following this format would ideally be team taught by instructors with advanced training in diverse fields, and hence co-learning between instructors and disciplines is a key element of the format. Several instruments for facilitating both student and instructor collaborative learning are introduced. The format is also designed for versatility: in addition to being adaptable to both technical and policy training environments, topics are modularized around a conceptual core so that issues ranging from biotech to nuclear security can be incorporated to fit programmatic needs and resources.


Lawrence, Christopher, Sheila Jasanoff, Sam Weiss Evans, Keith Raffel, and L. Mahadevan. "Ethics Inside the Black Box: Integrating Science and Technology Studies into Engineering and Public Policy Curricula." Science and Engineering Ethics 29.4 (August 2023).