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STS holds 25th anniversary symposium in Tang Center

The Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) will celebrate its 25th anniversary today with a symposium comprising two panels of speakers. The event will be held in the Tang Center's Wong Auditorium.

The symposium opens at 9 a.m. with comments by Merritt Roe Smith, director of Science, Technology and Society (STS), and Philip Khoury, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

The first session, "Science, Technology and Democracy," chaired by Leo Marx, senior lecturer and the Kenan Professor of American Cultural History, Emeritus, begins at 9:15 a.m.

Presenters at the first session will be David Kaiser, the Leo Marx Career Development Assistant Professor of the History of Science, who will speak on "Putting the 'Big' in Big Science: Cold War Requisitions and the Production of American Physicists after World War II"; Hugh Gusterson, associate professor of anthropology and science and technology studies, on "Science, Democracy and Nuclear Weapons"; and Joe Dumit, assistant professor of anthropology and science and technology, on "Biopolitics: Participation in Biomedicine."

The second session of the anniversary symposium beginning at 11:30 a.m. is titled "New Directions in STS Studies," chaired by Michael M.J. Fischer, professor of anthropology and science and technology studies.

Presenters will be Evelyn Hammonds, associate professor of the history of science, on "Diversity in Science, Technology and Medicine"; Sherry Turkle, the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Sociology of Science, on "Technology and Self"; Deborah Fitzgerald, associate professor of the history of technology, on "Rationalizing the Countryside"; and David Mindell, the Frances and David Dibner Associate Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing, on "Technology, Archeology and the Deep Sea."

Describing STS in its founding year of 1979, Jerome B. Wiesner, president of MIT from 1971-80, said the new program would be an "important step in the Institute's continuing effort to relate its educational and research efforts to the questions of value and choice in modern society, and to provide students with an adequate framework for life in modern industrial society."

The STS anniversary symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Diane St. Laurent at x3-2567 or

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 31, 2001.

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