Science and Technology, STS

The study of science and technology is a central and vital component of anthropological research focused on both past and present. Archaeological research on technology is concerned with evaluating, reconstructing, and exploring the social and cultural implications of the full suite of activities involved in the manufacture of objects, from the initial acquisition of raw material through various steps in creation, into stages of reuse and discard. In archaeology, the reliance on material remains of the past to study human behavior makes the connection between those remains and technology a pivotal question in the field. Current department interests are wide-ranging, and include the processes involved in technological change, the organization of specialized production and its relationship to social organization, and ... 

In Social Anthropology, Harvard faculty working in science and technology studies (STS) see science as a human product created by particular actors operating in specific cultural, political, and historical contexts. With scientific and technical knowledge foundational to the making of modern life and governance, STS has been a vital part of our work on the body, health, and population; on biomedicine and public health; and on governance, politics, and the state more generally. Current research in STS focuses on forensic science, biometrics and the politics of crime; engineering education and the making of colonial/postcolonial expertise; the professionalization of physicians and its distrust among patients, and the politics of transnational knowledge creation in the global obesity epidemic.