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SST Graduate Minor

Studies of Science and Technology Graduate Program

The SST program requires core courses in historiography and philosophy of science, followed by research seminars selected from four main research areas: models, theories and reality; biological and biomedical science; physical science; and science, technology, and society. Topics of the seminars vary from year to year, depending upon faculty and student interest. Some recent seminar topics were: Gender, Biology, and Society: Lessons and Limitations in the Case Study Method; Science and Technology Policy in Post-World War II United States; Gender Matters in the History of Technology; and History and Philosophy of Biology.

PhD Minor in SST: The minor requires a minimum of 12 graduate-level semester credits. PhD students will be required to take HSci 8112 or HMed 8112; one of either Phil 8601 or 8605; one of the SST research seminars (SST 8100, 8200, 8300, 8400 or 8420) not in the student's major field; and two semesters of the SST Colloquium (SST 8000).

Masters Minor in SST: The program requires a minimum of seven graduate-level semester credits. Masters students will be required to take HSci 8112 or HMed 8112; one of either Phil 8601 or 8605; and one semester of the SST Colloquium (SST 8000).

The graduate minor is designed for students from any major who desire to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and development of science and technology. It can be particularly valuable for students who are planning teaching careers in science or engineering, or those majoring in philosophy or history of science and technology. Any student admitted to or currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University may apply for admission to the graduate minor in SST. Students admitted to the SST minor will develop individual programs of study in consultation with the faculty and the director of graduate studies. Adjustments in program requirements can be made for students with relevant previous course experience.

Studies of Science and Technology (SST) is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand the conceptual foundations, historical development, and social context of science and technology. The SST program at the University of Minnesota has been in operation in the form of a graduate minor since 1992, when the National Science Foundation awarded the University a major grant to support research and teaching in the SST field. The program is built on the University's well-established, internationally renowned programs in various fields contained in SST.

The University of Minnesota first demonstrated its leadership in the study of science in 1953 when the world's first Center for Philosophy of Science was established under the directorship of Professor Herbert Feigl. In 1972 the University initiated the Program in History of Science and Technology, which from its inception has had close ties to the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science. Presently there are several research and/or teaching units at the University engaged in the SST field: the two mentioned above, the Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Processing, the Center for Bioethics, the History of Medicine program, and the Center for Cognitive Science. These units contain one of the country's largest concentrations of faculty in the SST field.

In the fall of 2007 the History of Science and Technology (HST) graduate program merged with the History of Medicine (HMed) graduate program to form a new graduate program in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (HSTM).