Science and Technology Studies


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


Science, Technology and Identity (HPSC0091)

Where, how, with whom, how much and why we encounter (or not) science matters.

In this module we will explore how science affects our lives and the lives of other people, through the lens of social justice. Science is a prized resource in our societies. As a result, it is important to map where people encounter science in their lives and what happens when they do. This course is your opportunity to explore how science and technology are co-constructed alongside the intersections of gender, 'race'/ethnicity, class, sexuality, mobility, age and other factors that affect our life chances and our identities. We will look at who can access science, how people access and use science (or not) and everything in between. We will think about science and technology in contemporary and historic contexts using key concepts such as identity, inclusion/exclusion, representation and recognition, relational and redistributive social justice, as well as intersectional approaches to class, race/ethnicity, gender, ability/disability, sexuality and other social positions. For instance, what do assistive reproductive technologies (ARTs) mean for how we understand gender and sexuality? How are science museums ‘whitewashed’? Does science include a ‘hidden curriculum’ that reproduces class-based advantages? The module is interdisciplinary, and will draw on wide range of concepts from political philosophy, sociology, education, cultural studies and STS. 

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Course Objectives: 

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Be active & engaged participants in co-constructing their workshops, responsible for their own learning.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of key theoretical concepts from social justice and identity theories.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which identities are co-constructed and contested through engagements with science, technology and culture both explicitly (for example, through medical categorisation systems) and implicitly (through media & cultural consumption embedded in everyday life). 
  • Demonstrate an understanding the roles of structure and agency in the co-construction of identities on one hand and science & technology on the other. 
  • Apply key theoretical concepts from this course to critically analyse a range of issues (contemporary & historic) in science & technology.
  • Analyse closely, interpret and show the exercise of critical judgement in the understanding

Full pdf details:

UCL Module Catalogue: Science, Technology and Identity