STS 114S



Project guidelines




Throughout the semester you will be exploring social, political, environmental, and ethical issues and problems that are relevant to your clinic project. Your clinic project will be a case study in relations between science and technology on the one hand, and the social and physical environment in which scientific and engineering work takes place, on the other. The goal of your research is to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which science & technology are enabled by this environment, and at the same time, of the ways in which the activities and products of scientists and engineers shape, form, and redefine this environment.


The report will be concerned with the political, ethical, environmental, and/or social aspects of your clinic research; you will make an inventory of the issues at stake in your project, conduct interviews with stakeholders, and apply the literature we discuss in class, all in the service of understanding the impact of technology and society on each other. At the end of the semester you will present your work in a written report and in an oral presentation. You must meet the following deadlines



02/01 Project title and thesis
02/8 Project description and brief outline of issues that will be explored in the final report
03/01 Annotated bibliography
03/8 Report outline, table of contents and summary of chapters
04/19, 04/20 Oral presentations
04/19 First draft and materials for oral presentations
04/26 Final report



Project topic and thesis. These serve to help you get your thoughts on the project organized; we will comment on them asap, in order to help you frame your project. In the course of the semester you will continue to work on teh basis of what you set out here.

Project description and outline. The description serves to collect your thoughts on the issues you want to explore in your report. By now, you should have begun to look at your clinic project from a "social" perspective; we do not expect you to have all the bases covered quite yet, but we would like to see where you thoughts and your processing of reading materials are leading you. So consider this description a brainstorming opportunity, in which you follow through on what you started last week, when we asked you to define the topic you might want to explore. While last week we asked for a definition of the topic, this week we ask you to explore the topic in a bit more depth. The outline should get you thinking about (and should give us an initial idea of) what you need to include in this research project, and about what you need to do to accomplish it. So it serves as a tool to help you plan your work for the semester. Remember -- this is all preliminary (but necessary) exploration; what you write now should lead you in the right direction, but the final product will be bigger, more inclusive, and perhaps quite different tahn what you envision now.


The term project report represents 60% of the grade in this course; it involves a substantial amount of work. All work will be returned with our comments. Note that there will be a small penalty for missing any of the first 5 deadlines and a major penalty (one grade per day) for missing the deadline for the Final Report. Reports should include a technical as well as a social/ethical/political component and should adhere to the rules of proper writing. Please make components, the oral and the written report, understandable to a wide audience. The report should respond to and incorporate material presented, read, and discussed in this class. Mechanical, spelling, and grammar errors are not acceptable; we encourage you to consult Diana Hackerís Writerís Reference and to have the draft and the Final Report reviewed at the Writing Center.