The STS Futures Lab began with work we did collaborating with two of our undergraduate students on social and ethical dimensions of autonomous vehicles that our students presented at the 4S meeting in Boston in 2017, and later developed into a presentation for the Society for the Social Studies of New and Emerging Technologies (SNET) in Phoenix in 2017. Significant milestones in the development of the Lab are further described in A Brief History of the STS Futures Lab at James Madison University.
There are multiple research projects currently associated with the Lab, but its new signature project, Co-Imagining Futures, particularly exemplifies the work of the lab in connecting research and pedagogy and in forging bridges across disciplinary boundaries. To date, this research project has entailed two engagements. In the first, we invited expert Dr. Morgan Benton, a professor in Integrated Science and Technology with expertise in computing and mobile app development, to join us for a collaborative workshop. The topic he chose for this workshop was “Flourishing With Information Technology,” a topic that explored the implications of his research on IT curricula and gender parity. In the second, we invited expert Dr. Anne Henriksen, a professor emerita in Integrated Science and Technology with expertise in epigenetics in the context of sex hormones, to join us for a collaborative workshop. The topic she chose for this workshop was “Implementation Precision Medicine.” This culminated in a joint publication in a scientific journal that included Dr. Henriksen and our STS Futures Lab undergraduate students as co-authors.
The STS Futures Lab is actively working to develop STS pedagogies.To that end, we have applied for a National Science Foundation grant to support a workshop on STS As Critical Pedagogy.
Emily York and Shannon N. Conley, "Finding the Intersection of Research and Pedagogy", contributed by Emily York, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 15 August 2019, accessed 1 April 2023. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/finding-intersection-research-and-pedagogy
This artifact describes several notable examples of the work being done in the STS Futures Lab. The STS Futures Lab, located within an undergraduate- and teaching-oriented institution, emerged by necessity as a Lab focused on making STS accessible, relevant, and engaging for undergraduate students. However, before long, the Lab began to see overlaps in how it was approaching undergraduate STEM students and how it might experiment with and reconceptualize STS modes of research and engagement.