Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD


STS1Book programme

Each year, STS asks all students and staff to read one book as a community. The STS1Book for 2023-24 will be Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun.

STS1Book logo

STS1Book for 2023-24

Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun
Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside.  She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

In Klara and The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro flips the terms of the ‘big problem’ about AI by asking: what does it mean to love?

Think about eco-social justice when you buy this book. You can support independent bookshops by buying it from hive.co.uk or reduce your impact by buying second-hand from biblio.co.ukBetter yet, borrow it from your local library.

Read Beth Singler’s blog to get into the juicy STS questions

STS will have a series of activities around the STS1Book during the year. 

What's the STS1Book programme?

Each year, the Department asks all staff and students to read one book in common during the summer, then arrive for the new session ready to discuss both its substance and its broader value. Incoming students should read this prescribed book. It will be the subject of activities during induction week and will be used in Year 1 courses. Titles are selected for inclusion by the STS Undergraduate Programme Tutor from suggested offered by students and staff. 

The goals of our STS1Book programme are:

  1. increase intellectual integration across our many different subjects
  2. increase common ground for students in different years of study
  3. encourage informal learning
  4. read more fabulous work from scholars and writers in our community

This is our 18th year!

Past books in the series include:

  • Plato. The Gorgias
  • Gemma Milne. 2020. Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How To See Past It (Robinson). ISBN 9781472143662.
  • Amanda Rees and Charlotte Sleigh (2020) Human (Animal) (Reaktion Books)
  • Eubanks, Virginia. 2018. Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (Picador)
  • Saini, Angela. 2017. Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story (London: Harper Collins)
  • Erik Conway and Naomi Oreskes. 2012. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (London: Bloomsbury)
  • Philip Ball's Invisible: The History of the Unseen from Plato to Particle Physics
  • Henry Nicholls' The Galapagos: A Natural History
  • Peter Dear's The Intelligibility of Nature: How Science Makes Sense of the World
  • Ron Number's Galileo Goes to Jail, and other myths about science and religion
  • Mark Henderson's Geek Manifesto
  • Jon Turney's The Rough Guide to The Future
  • Bill Bryson's Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society: 350 Years of the Royal Society and Scientific Endeavour
  • Ben Goldacre's Bad Science
  • Thomas Dixon's Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction
  • Jenny Uglow's The Lunar Men
  • Jared Diamond's Collapse

We invite authors to visit STS for a day, to meet students, discuss their ideas, and discuss careers.

High praise

Our STS1Book programme was praised highly by UCL's quality review team in their 2012 regular audit of the department. It was described as innovative and key to creating a shared learning environment.