STS@RPI

Founded in 1982, the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer is one of the oldest programs of its sort. Our  faculty members have backgrounds in anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, social psychology, and sociology. 

This department is one of the few in the world that offers STS degrees from baccalaureate to doctoral levels. Degree programs offered through the STS Department emphasize the cultural, historical, economic, political, and social dimensions of scientific and technological society, with a focus on ethical and values issues. 

  • RPI STS Department Photo
    STS@RPI: A Brief History through Images
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    RPI STS Photo

    RPI STS Community

    A photo taken at an RPI STS gathering. 

    Photo includes: David Hess, Linda Caporel, Langdon Winner, Ned Woodhouse, Linda Layne, Shirley Gorenstein,Tom Carroll, Jenn Croissant, and others. 

    Shirley Gorenstein

    Shirley Gorenstein

    Shirley Gorenstein, an archaeologist, was a founding member of the RPI STS Department and Department Chair from 1983-1995

    David Eillison

    David Ellison

    David Eillison was the first Department Chair of STS at RPI.

    Alfred Mauet

    Alfred Mauet

    Alfred Mauet was a graduate student in STS at RPI. His degree was awarded posthumously in 1998. 

    Deb Johnson

    Deborah Johnson

    Deborah Johnson was a faculty member in the STS Department at RPI. She was the chair of the department from 1995 to 1998. 

    Ed Hackett

    Ed Hackett

    Ed Hackett was a founding member of the STS Department at RPI. Hackett was a faculty member from 1984 to 1998 at Rensselaer and is currently Professor of Sociology and Vice Provost for Research at Brandeis University. 

    Andrew Weiss

    Andrew Weiss

    Andrew Weiss was awarded his PhD in STS at RPI in 1996.

    Ed Hackett and David Hess

    Ed Hackett & David Hess

    Photo of Ed Hackett and David Hess, former faculty members in STS at RPI. 

    Franz Foltz

    Franz Foltz

    Franz Foltz is an alumnus of the STS PhD program at RPI. Foltz is currently Associate Professor in the Public Policy and Science, Technology, and Society departments at Rochester Institute of Technology. 

    Franz Folz, Andrew Weiss, and John Monberg

    Franz Foltz, Andrew Weiss, and John Monberg

    Franz Folz, Andrew Weiss, and John Monberg, alumni of the STS PhD program at RPI. 

    Ned Woodhouse

    Ned Woodhouse

    Ned Woodhouse is Professor in the Science and Technology Studies Department at RPI. 

    Linda Layne

    Layne was a faculty member in the STS Department at RPI from 1993-2016

    Langdon Winner

    Langdon Winner

    Langdon Winner is the Thomas Phelan Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences in the STS Department at RPI. Winner joined the RPI faculty in 1985. 

    RPI STS Photo

    RPI STS Department Photo

    Photo of the RPI STS community.

    Pictured: Nan Carroll, Ned Woodhouse, Sharon O’Connor, Sam Johnson, Shirley Gorenstein, Deb Johnson, Tom Carroll, Andrew Weiss, Langdon Winner, Linda Strass, Theresa Landry, Roli Varma

    (At the Johnson House).

    Kim Fortun

    Kim Fortun

    Kim Fortun was a faculty member in STS at RPI from 1993-2017, serving as Department Head from 2016-2017. Fortun is currently Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine. Fortun is serving as the President of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) from 2017-2019. 

    Nancy D. Campbell

    Nancy D. Campbell

    Nancy D. Campbell joined the RPI STS faculty in 2000. She has served as Department Head since 2017.

    Dean Nieusma and Mike Fortun

    Dean Nieusma and Mike Fortun, with daughter, Kora Fortun, at the 4S Meeting in Montreal, 2002. 

    Nieusma is a 2004 graduate of RPI's STS PhD program and was a faculty member until 2018. Nieusma is currently Division Director of Engineering, Design, and Society (EDS) at the Colorado School of Mines.

    Fortun was a faculty member of the RPI STS department from 1999-2017. He is currently associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.

    A photograph of Mike Fortun as a child

    A Portrait of Mike Fortun as a Young Man

    "An early experimental prototype of the DNA-language-culture assemblage that goes under the name of MIKE FORTUN. The interests of this ongoing extended phenotype remain DNA, language, and culture­—and their remains.”

    Atsushi Akera and Seiji

    Atsushi Akera

    Photo of Atsushi Akera and son, Seiji. Akera is Associate Professor and current Graduate Program Director in STS at RPI. 

    Photo of RPI STS Graduate Students

    RPI Graduate Students: Torin Monahan, Art Fricke, Jason Patton, and Jill Fisher

    A photo of RPI STS PhD alumni, Torin Monahan, Art Fricke, Jason Patton, and Jill Fisher taken at 4S Montreal in 2002. 

    RPI PhD Alumni Camar Diaz, Marie Rarieya, and Lane DeNicola

     Camar Diaz, Marie Rarieya, and Lane DeNicola graduated in 2007.

    Raquel Velho

    Raquel Velho

    A photo of Raquel Velho with the Uncle Sam statue during an early 1990s visit to Troy, NY. Velho joined the RPI STS department as an Assistant Professor in 2017. 

    RPI Graduate Students 2012

    STS Graduate Students 2012

    Photograph of some of the RPI STS PhD students in the grad lounge (2012).

    RPI Community at Cornell meeting 2016

    RPI Faculty and Grads at the 40th Anniversary of the first 4S Meeting at Cornell

    This photo was taken in October 2016 at the Cornell meeting, "Where has STS Traveled?" celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) that took place at Cornell in 1976.