I want to extend a warm welcome to current and potential students of Stanford’s Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS). By way of introducing the program, let me say that STS is such an intellectually exciting and rewarding area to be working in at Stanford. The societal impact of science and technology – whether in the past, present or future – is a part of what is studied in many parts of this campus, much as that societal impact is felt in many aspects of the world at large.  

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, both in size and rate of growth in recent years. 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 the inquiry, analysis, and skill development necessary for grasping how science and technology tend to shape our understanding of the world, and vice versa. As part of this process, students do science and technology 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 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 with whom it is a pleasure to work. I look forward to working with students and faculty  already involved, and those with an interest in becoming involved, 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