Major program: The Science in Society Program is an interdisciplinary major that encourages the study of the sciences and medicine as institutions, practices, intellectual achievements, and constituents of culture. Students in the program should gain a better understanding of the richness and complexity of scientific practice and of the cultural and political significance of science, technology, and medicine. The major is well suited for students interested in a variety of professional and academic pursuits after graduation, since it encourages students to integrate technical scientific knowledge with a grasp of the historical and cultural setting within which it is understood and used.

Students may enroll in the program either as their only major or as a joint major with one of the science departments (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Neuroscience and Behavior, Physics, or Psychology). All students must take one course each in history of science, philosophy of science, and socio-cultural studies of science.

Sample Courses:  Science in Western Culture, 1650-1900; The Sociology of Medicine; Discovering the Person; The Health of Communities; Philosophy of Science; the Politics of Nature

Number of Professors: 7

Science In Society Building
Title: Faculty Spotlight
Science In Society Building

Joseph T. Rouse

Chair, Science in Society Science in Society Program, Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Environmental Studies, Hedding Professor of Moral Science


Research Interests: Professor Rouse specializes in the philosophy of science, the history of 20th C. philosophy, and interdisciplinary science studies. His primary foci within these areas include the philosophy of scientific practice; naturalism and anti-naturalism in 20th Century philosophy; connections between "analytic" and "continental" philosophy; relations between philosophy of science and philosophy of mind/language and metaphysics; cultural studies of science and feminist science studies. He is currently working on a book on conceptual understanding in science and in discursive practice generally.