Oct 01, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Human Context of Science and Technology



Jessica Pfeifer
B.A., Wesleyan University, 1991; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1999

Human Context of Science and Technology Committee

Suzanne Braunschweig
B.S., Towson University, 1988; Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, 1993

Nicholas Bonneau
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Eric Brown
B.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1993; M.A., Princeton University, 1999

Blake Francis
B.A., Northern Arizona University; M.A., University of Montana; Ph.D., Stanford University

Andrea Kalfoglou
B.A., University of Virginia, 1991; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1999

Carole McCann
B.A., Temple University, 1978; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1987

Deborah Rudacille
B.A., Loyola College, 1980; M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1998

Mirjam Voerkelius
B.A., Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 2011; M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2013; Ph.D., 2018


Courses in this program are listed under HCST.

The Human Context of Science and Technology Certificate  (HCST) provides students a deeper understanding of the human context of science, technology, engineering, and medicine. The pressing problems of today require an interdisciplinary understanding provided by the Human Context of Science and Technology. From the COVID-19 pandemic to global climate change, from personalized medicine to the availability and affordability of healthcare, from the use of reproductive and genetic technologies to the use of technology to influence elections and social movements, from genomics to questions of race and gender, from artificial intelligence to concerns about privacy and data protection - all of these issues are simultaneously scientific, technological, social, political, and ethical. The HCST Certificate Program brings together scholars in the humanities and social sciences to engage with scientists and engineers, to better understand and address these complex issues.

Career and Academic Paths

The Certificate in the Human Context of Science and Technology is directed toward students in all fields across the university, from the humanities and social sciences to science, math, information systems, and engineering. Those in the humanities and social sciences benefit from the broad understanding of science, technology, and medicine provided by the program and apply the methods and tools from their majors to better understand science, technology, and medicine. Students majoring in science, math, or engineering benefit from understanding the human context of their own fields of work and bring their knowledge of their major fields to bear on issues of great importance for human society.

Employers, graduate programs, and medical schools are consistently seeking students who think critically about science and technology and understand the human context in which they occur. Medical schools increasingly encourage applicants to train in the humanities; national directives suggest that social scientists ought to be involved in engineering research; teachers benefit from the interdisciplinary training in the sciences and humanities; grant and accreditation agencies often require training in ethics; employers in the fields of data science, engineering, and information technology are increasingly looking for students with training in the social ramifications of their work; and those who work in public affairs and policy often require interdisciplinary training that incorporates science, technology, social science, and the humanities. More generally, understanding the human context of science, technology, and medicine is essential in today's world for all members of society. In an age where our daily lives are affected by advances in science, technology, and medicine, it is essential that we, as individuals and as citizens, understand these fields and the human context in which they exist.




      Human Context Science & Technology