Intro STS – 14508 – STS 201 – 002 Coll of Science & Liberal Arts Department: Humanities

Class 8:30 am – 9:55 am Monday /ThuRsday Cullimore Hall LECT 3 Spring 2017

Prof. Gareth Edel , PhD.

Office Hours: Held in Cullimore 435 or on benches outside Cullimore Hall,

10:30- 11am Tues/Thurs, 1-1:30 pm Tues/Thurs, 11-Noon on Monday, Additionally Available by appointment.


Course Summary Description: This course looks at issues related to science and technology as they participate in and effect our society and our life experiences. Topics include: work, city planning, online social media, sustainability. We will be particularly working to develop an understanding of technologies as part of techno-social systems, and to increase the complexity of our views of technology as performing multiple functions, constraints and enablement.



Quizzes (5)  15%

Required Reading Response Write-ups (500-750 words, show reading and engagment) (5) 15%

Midterm Examination 30%

Final Examination 40%

Note: While quizzes draw entirely from the readings, exams will test on subject matter from in class lectures, and

students are strongly encouraged to attend every class, take notes, and ask questions.

Extra Credit will be available for completing Reading Responses on weeks without required, additional opportunities will be announced as we go. Students are welcome to request and suggest further extra credit opportunities.

Course Policy on Plagiarism: Any form of cheating or plagiarism will be grounds for failure in the course per NJIT Academic Integrity Policy. Failure to properly Cite or recognize quotation or indirect material will automatically fail the assignment and be considered grounds for potential further action.



WEEK 1 Topic: What is Technology

Jan 19 – Thursday(First Day Of class) – Welcome to Class, Review of Syllabus

WEEK 2 Topic: How “things” have politics.

Jan 23 & 26 Reading Due:Langdon Winner,  1980. “Do Artifacts Have Politics.”  Daedalus 109 (1): 121-136 (Read whole article)

From Reprinting in The Whale and the Reactor:

AND Robert Moses, 1945 “Slums and City Planning,”

Reading Response Writing #1 Due

WEEK 3 Topic: Technology in our lives today.

Jan 30 & Feb 2 Reading Due:  Putnam, Robert. Bowling Alone Article 1995. Selection:

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together (Selection); P. 1-14

Sander, T.H. & Putnam, R.D..2010 “Still Bowling Alone” journal of Democracy. 20 #1,

Reading Response Writing #2 Due

WEEK 4 Questioning our assumptions.

Feb 6 & Feb 9 Reading Due: Three Blog Entries:

Katherine Viner, 2016, The Guardian,

Justin Fox,2014, The Disruption Myth, the Atlantic

Gladwell, Malcolm. 2002. “Smaller: The disposable diaper and the meaning of progress.” Gladwell -smaller

Quiz # 1 (Wed Class)

WEEK 5 What is Sustainability?

Feb 13 & Feb 16 Reading Due: “The Next Industrial Revolution,” McDonough and Braungart, Atlantic Monthly,
‘ The Great Oasis’ Bilger, Burkhard The Great Oasis
A plan to combat desertification.

Reading Response Writing #3 Due

WEEK 6 Technology and Work

Feb 20 & Feb 23 Reading Due: Mac McClelland, 2012, “I was a warehouse wage slave”, Mother Jones.

Jeffrey Pfeffer, ”The Case against the ‘gig economy’, Fortune Magazine Online

David Rodman (Editor) “How Technology is Destroying Jobs”, The MIT Tech Review Online

Echkardt & F. Bardhi, “The Sharing Economy Isn’t about sharing at all” Harvard Buisiness Review

Quiz # 2 (Wed Class)

WEEK 7 – Mid Term Week

Feb 27 Mid Term Review

Mar 2 Mid Term Examination

WEEK 8 Race and Technology

Mar 6 & Mar 9 Reading Due: Anthony Walton, “Technology Versus the African Americans” Atlantic Monthly

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, 2009, Intro. to special issue- “Race and/as technology” in Camera Obscura

Reading Response Writing #4 Due

WEEK 9 No Class For Break

Mar 13 – Spring Recess (No Classes)

Mar 17 – Spring Recess (No Classes)


Mar 20- (First class following Spring Recess) & Mar 23 Reading Due: Introduction and Chapter from Wiebe Bijker’s

‘Of Bicycles, Bakelite and Bulbs’ –

` Quiz # 3 (Wed Class)

WEEK 11 Science The very Idea

Mar 27 – (Last day to withdrawal) & Mar 30 Reading Due: Shapin & Shaeffer –truth/credibility/science ideal

Intro to 2011 ed.

Quiz # 4 (Wed Class)

WEEK 12 The Media

Apr 3 & Apr 6 Reading Due:

McChesney, R.W. & Nichols, J.. 2000. It’s the Media Stupid . Stories Press SELECTION: pp.21-25, 27-


Lark Federman On Mcluhan

Recommended/Optional: Lawrence Lessig, Code v2 Quiz # 1 (Wed Class)


WEEK 13 STS In Practice of Design

Apr 10 & Apr 13 Reading Due: Dean Nieusma’s “Alternative Design Scholarship” ` + 1 Additional Reading TBA

WEEK 14 Final Thoughts

Apr 17 &Apr 20 Reading Due:’The Engineer as social Radical’ by Mathes and Gray (NOT YET POSTED ONLINE)

+ 1 Additional Reading TBA

Reading Response Writing #1 Due


Apr 24 Final Exam Review

Apr 27 Final Exam Review


May 3-4 Reading Days, May 5-11 Exam Days