Please note that not every course listed is offered each year and that students should consult the following sources for current course offerings:


STS-1003. Science, Technology and Society I

Science and technology are among the most powerful forces in our world today and come with a vast and complicated array of social, ethical, political, legal, and economic implications. This course introduces students to the core theories and various branches of the dynamic field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in order to facilitate thoughtful analysis of the intertwined relations among science, technology, and society.

STS-1503. Principles of Biology I (BIOL)

This course introduces students to the study of life. Topics include the scientific method, biological molecules, cell structure and function, energy flow, respiration, and photosynthesis.

STS-1513. Principles of Biology II (BIOL)

This course examines mitosis, meiosis, and genetics. Surveys the structure, function, and evolution of the kingdoms of life. Discusses the basics of ecology, culminating in ecological interactions and the impact of humans on the planet.

STS-1613. Everyday Chemistry (CHEM)

Introduces students to chemistry through the examination of the various roles that chemical elements and reactions play in our everyday lives. Topics could include the role of oxygen in combustion and the growth of living organisms, the formation of water molecules, and the role of carbon-based and organic molecules in fuels, food, and everyday objects.

STS-2103. Science, Technology and Society II

This course provides an intermediate-level study of the core theories and various branches of the dynamic field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in order to facilitate thoughtful analysis and discussion of relevant topics which may include: science and public policy, STS and the environment, science and the media, the public understanding of science, gender and science, and/or expertise and scientific knowledge production. Prerequisite: STS 1003.

STS-2123. Food, Science & Sustainability (ENVS 2123)

This course explores the relationships in our society among science, technology, and food by examining the ways that technology and scientific knowledge have altered food production. In addition, we will look more broadly at how our technical relationship to food has laid the foundations of modern civilization. We will also look at advocates of alternative modes of food production and consumption who claim to redress some of the dilemmas of our modern food ways.

STS-2243. Science and Technology in World History: From Pre-History to 1543

Examines the transformation of civilizations around the world by technologies such as stone tools, catapults, hydraulic engineering, metallurgy, and gunpowder. Also examines the growth of the abstract, theoretical sciences of astronomy, mathematics, and medicine in various regions including China, the Americas, Egypt and Greece. Aims to understand the social, political, economic, and religious consequences of science and technology from the Paleolithic Era to the mid-16th century.

STS-2253. Science and Technology in World History: From 1543 to the Present

Examines the transformation of civilizations around the world by technologies such as steam engines, electricity, airplanes, and nuclear bombs. Also examines the development and impact of new scientific theories of universal gravitation, evolution, genetics, and bio-engineering. Aims to understand the social, political, economic, and religious consequences of science and technology from the mid-16th century to the present.

STS-2313. Energy and Society (ENVS 2313)

This course examines energy systems (oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, and renewable) both historically and in the contemporary world, in terms of environmental and economic impacts, theories of technological change in their creation, deployment,and decommissioning, as well as public policy issues.

STS-2403. Science, Technology and War

This course explores the development of modern techniques, technologies, and social systems for the purposes of making war. It also asks how wars change societies, technologically, socially, and structurally. We will pay attention to technology and changes in military strategy, but we will also look at non-combatants as users of technology. Credit cannot be obtained for both STS 1403 and STS 2403.

STS-2413. Science, Technology and Innovation

This course examines the field of science and technology studies (STS) with a focus on science and technological-based innovation, historically and in the contemporary world. The course will offer students an opportunity to critcally evaluate theories of technological change, and science and technology in globalization, and the post-modern economy. Students will also be expected to critically discuss implications for public policies in the areas of research and development, science and technology, and innovation. No pre-requisites required.

STS-2503. Plagues and Peoples

This course studies the impact of disease epidemics on human populations and on economic, social, intellectual, religious, and political aspects of life from ancient times to the present.

STS-2513. Energy and Society

This course examines energy systems (oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, and renewable) both historically and in the contemporary world, in terms of environmental and economic impacts, theories of technological change in their creation, deployment, and decommissioning, as well as public policy issues.

STS-2603. Animals: Rights, Consciousness, and Experimentation

This course is an introduction to the scientific, legal, philosophical, and political debates over animal rights, animal consciousness, and animal experimentation.

STS-2623. Human Anatomy (BIOL)

This course will provide students with an examination of human anatomy with emphasis on the structure and function of the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. This course is clinically oriented, in that it uses case studies to emphasize the importance of fundamental knowledge of anatomy for clinical work. The emphasis in this class is on learning and understanding rather than on memorizing; the class is structured to foster the retention of workable knowledge. Pre-requisites: None.

STS-2703. History of Life Sciences

This course examines the historical background and development of the life sciences from the ancient Greek world to the present. Particular attention will be focused on the fields of biology, ecology, medicine and genetics.

STS-2903. The Politics of Science

This course introduces students to the many ways in which science interacts with political interests. This includes the ways in which political considerations from outside of science and elected officials influence the development of science. It also includes the ways in which political interests from within science itself control the development of science and how scientific concerns often guide the development of public policies made by politicians.

STS-2913. Communicating Science in a Democracy

In modern democratic societies, the sciences are dominant forces that affect everyone. This course examines how critical scientific issues are communicated to (or with), members of the public, government, and within the scientific community itself. The basic question we will be exploring is: What science communication strategies work, what don't work, and most importantly, why? This course explores the relationship between the communication of complex scientific issues and democracy.

STS-3003. Scientific Reasoning

This course provides students with the tools needed to pursue research in Science and Technology Studies. The course will typically cover the basic elements of a traditional conceptual framework used by scientists to describe their work, including the concepts of prediction, testing, theoretical models, and scientific change over time, as well as the basic elements of alternative theoretical frameworks. Some mathematical content. Prerequisite: at least 9 credit hours in STS or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours.

STS-3013. Controversies in Science and Technoloogy

This course explores controversial issues involving science and technology in order to investigate the underlying dynamics of science and technology themselves since it is during controversies that the normally hidden social dimensions of techno-science become more explicit. Various controversies, such as climate change, transgenic foods, biofuels, and chemical additives in food are studied to reveal the rhetorical tools, underlying assumptions, and social, political, economic, and philosophical struggles embedded within science and technology. Pre-requisite: STS 1003.

STS-3043. Heaven and Earth: Astronomy and Matter Theories From the Ancient World to the The Scientific Revolution

This course explores theories explaining the structure and material makeup of the universe from ancient times to the Scientific Revolution. Technical details of astronomy and matter theories are examined in philosophical, theological, and medical contexts. Topics include: the shift from an earth-centered to a sun-centered astronomy, medical astrology, the shift from ancient atomism to mechanistic theories of matter, and the implications of postulating empty space in the macro and micro universe.

STS-3063. Science, Religion and Galileo's Trial

Examines the complex interactions between Western science and the Judeo-Christian religious tradition in the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods culminating with a close study of Galileo's trial by the Inquisition in 1632 to reveal how variable and complex interactions between science and religion have been characterized at different times by conflict, cooperation, separation, understanding, misunderstanding, dialogue, and alienation. Prerequisite: STS 2243 or permission of the instructor.

STS-3103. Science, Technology and Society III

This course further develops an integrative understanding of the core theories and various branches of the dynamic field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) through an advanced study of the theoretical roots and current trends in the discipline. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, research, as well as written and oral presentations by applying theoretical perspectives to different case studies. Perequisite: STS 2103.

STS-3163. Contemporary Perspectives on Science and Religion

This course examines the recent debates over the relation between science and religion. A resurgence of interest in these debates has been sparked by developments in the sciences, particularly in physics and genetics, as well as by a newly-emerging understanding of what science is. The central questions include whether science and religion are compatible and whether recent developments in the sciences give new answers to religious and theological questions. Readings will represent all sides of these debates. Prerequisite: STS 2253.

STS-3203. Science, Technology and Nature (ENVS 3203)

In this seminar, students will be asked to question the boundary between culture and nature. Although we will explore how humans have made and remade the natural world, often with technologies of almost unimaginable power, we will also consider how natural forces - the sun, the soil, horses, rivers, germs, insects, even gravity - shape our built environments.

STS-3303. Sex, Science & Gender

This course examines how scientific research, in the late 19th and 20th centuries, has shaped common conceptions of sex behavior and how this scientific knowledge has also been shaped by cultural conceptions of gender roles and normal behavior.

STS-3413. God, Nature, and Charles Darwin

Examines the complex interactions between theories of biological evolution and Christianity. Beginning with ancient Greek theories of how species arise, the course will focus primarily on the social, political, economic, techno-scientific, and religion contexts of the 19th century when ideas of species transmutation or evolution were discussed. Pre-requisite: a minimum of 9 credit hours beyond the 1000-level.

STS-3433. Writing Workshop

This course enhances skills in writing and oral presentations within the context of major themes in the discipline of STS. It is recommended for students planning to undertake honours studies in STS and 4000-level seminars as well as for students wishing to pursue graduate studies or careers requiring accomplished written and oral presentation skills. Pre-requisite: permission of the instructor.

STS-3503. Feminism and Techno-Science (GEND)

Examines a variety of feminist perspectives on science and technology which suggest that scientific authority (particularly in the biological and life sciences) rationalizes and normalizes gender stereotypes and inequalities, and also marginalizes women from its institutions. The content and positions of various perspectives (as well as counter-arguments) are studied for their political, philosophical, and epistemic assumptions.

STS-3533. Science and Scientific Knowledge (SOCI)

This course examines the study of science and scientific knowledge from a sociological perspective. It focuses on the effort of the Edinburgh School to provide a materialist resolution to the debate between positivist and relativist epistemologies.

STS-3563. Philosophy of Science (PHIL)

This course will examine science from the perspective of philosophy. Topics will include the historical relation between science and philosophy, the differences between the social and the physical sciences, the nature of scientific change in history, the role of values in science, the reality of 'theoretical' objects of science, and feminist alternatives to traditional scientific research. Examples will be drawn from both the physical and the social sciences. Prerequisite: at least 9 credit hours in STS or permission of the instructor.

STS-4006. Honours Thesis

Students in their fourth year of the Honours Programme in Science and Technology Studies will register for this course and receive credit for it upon successful completion of their honours thesis.

STS-4103. Independent Study

Special courses in topics not normally covered in regular course offerings in Science and Technology Studies. Students work closely with a faculty member on a project involving independent research. Approval must be given by the Director.