Each year, STS asks all students and staff to read one book as a community. "Human (Animal)" by Amanda Rees and Charlotte Sleigh is the STS1Book for 2020/21.
From the publisher: "What does it mean to be human? And what, if anything, does it have to do with being a member of the animal species Homo sapiens? This dazzling book gets to the very heart of our (rather unscientific) motivations and prejudices about humanity, showing how, by understanding them, we can go some way to resolving the world’s biggest problems. From beasts to aliens, widespread but often problematic links with six other beings are explored. Deep philosophical questions are tackled, including humanity’s common purpose, life’s meaning and what it means to be accepted as part of a community. Global in its outlook and illustrated by stunning pictures, Human is a powerful, funny and iconoclastic antidote to post-humanism."
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:
- increase intellectual integration across our many different subjects
- increase common ground for students in different years of study
- encourage informal learning
- read more fabulous work from scholars and writers in our community
This is our 15th year!
Past books in the series include:
- 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. When Philip Ball visited in 2017, we filmed his seminar talk. The audience includes STS students and staff as well as students and staff across the university.
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.