Sts staff and contact details

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TS staff and contact details

Room Phone Email

Lecturing Staff
Assoc Prof Sharon Beder* 19.2052 (02) 4221 3691

Assoc Prof Brian Martin 19.2059 (02) 4221 3763

Dr David Mercer 19.2055 (02) 4221 4062

Dr Rhonda Roberts 19.2057 (02) 4221 4305

Dr Stewart Russell 19.2056 (02) 4221 3088

Honorary Fellow

Dr Wendy Varney 19.2062 (02) 4221 4184

* on leave in 2002

Casually employed lecturers and tutors usually occupy rooms 2052, 2084 or 2087. Your tutor will tell you which room he/she uses for consultations.

Acting Head of Program

Assoc Prof Brian Martin

Honours Coordinator

Dr Stewart Russell

Postgraduate Coordinator

Dr David Mercer

Arts Faculty Enquiry Centre

For general queries, contact (02) 4221 5328

STS websites

Science, Technology and Society

A valuable part of your University studies and your future
Science, Technology and Society is the interdisciplinary academic field that examines the origins, nature and social impacts of science, technology and medicine, and seeks to inform policies for the future. STS focuses on science and technology – and the scientific or technical dimension in so many important and controversial issues – from the perspectives of the social sciences and humanities. It draws on the concepts and methods of sociologists, historians, political economists, philosophers, psychologists and others. Within the field are several long established disciplines like history of science and history of technology, more recently developed areas of work like sociology of scientific knowledge and political economy of technological change, and sub-fields like science and technology policy analysis which reflect contemporary concerns about the direction, impact and management of science and technology.

Wollongong's STS Program is one of few STS or similar university units in Australia, and in its reputation for teaching, research and scholarship, one of the foremost in the English-speaking world. Several of its staff members and postgraduate students have both a scientific or technological background as well as a training in STS or other social science field, and one of the functions of STS units has traditionally been seen as breaking down a gap between the cultures of, on the one hand, the sciences and engineering, and on the other, the humanities and social sciences. In STS subjects at Wollongong you will encounter people studying a wide range of degrees in almost all the faculties in the University.

A degree with an STS major or a significant STS component will help equip you to play a productive role as a manager of technological change in industry, as a policy analyst in government, as a commentator on scientific and technological controversies in the media, or as a researcher helping us further understand the way science and technology develop and can be shaped to best serve humanity.

In a society in which science and technology are central, at a time when they present crucial problems, extraordinary opportunities and difficult choices, all students should consider studying STS as part of their degrees.

Studying STS at Wollongong
STS can be studied as a major in the BA, the BA/BSc or the BA/BE – leading to the Honours programme – or as a joint major with one of a number of other disciplines. STS subjects are included in several of the interdisciplinary majors in the Arts Faculty, like Resource and Environmental Studies, which can lead to joint honours programmes.
STS subjects, or subjects taught by STS staff, are integrated into several other degrees. Students from most degree courses can select STS subjects or sequences of subjects as electives to complement their major in another area.

Studying STS in the Arts degree

STS Major

A major in STS consists of 60 credit points.
At least 52 credit points must be STS subjects, including either:

1) STS100/103/200/203 Social Aspects of Science and Technology


2) STS229/329 Scientific and Technological Controversy

At least 24 credit points of STS must be at 300 level.
An additional 8 credit points may be taken from the following:

Any STS subject (see over page)

AUST101 Australian Studies: Environment and Identity

CCS105 Introduction to Communication and Cultural Studies

CCS334 Technologies of the Body

CCS337 Hollywood and American Culture

HIST338 Advances Topics in the History of Science, 1500-1800

HIST361 Fascism and the Authoritarian Right in Twentieth Century Europe

PHIL256/258 Ethics and the Environment

PHIL262 Theories of Knowledge and Metaphysics

PHIL322 Knowledge and Metaphysics

POL121 Politics in a Globalising World

POL224 Politics and the Media

POL314 Power and the Modern State

SOC104 Communication, Media and Society

SOC231 Introduction to Social Research

SOC241 Culture and Communication
STS subjects are listed on pages 12-18.
If you are considering majoring in STS, or want advice in steering a path through the subjects, see any STS staff member.

Summer Session

The subjects on offer in Summer 2002/2003 will be announced in Spring Session and listed in the University's Summer Session handbook.

Home Study

The STS Program occasionally runs one subject at two levels in Home Study mode:

STS103/203 Social Aspects of Science and Technology

(equivalent to the on-campus STS100/200)

This subject may be available in Summer Session 2002/2003.

Home Study mode caters for students who cannot enrol in the on-campus equivalent subject because, for example, of timetabling or geographical constraints. It also allows students to take the subject outside Autumn Session – for example, if they miss STS100/200 in Autumn and wish to take other STS subjects for which it is a pre-requisite the following Autumn.

In Home Study mode, no classes are held. Students are provided with complete subject materials and individual telephone or face-to-face tutoring as required. A set of audio tapes is available which closely follow the material of the subject. The assessment schedule for STS103/203 is slightly different to that for the on-campus equivalent.

Home Study is not recommended for students at the start of their degree programmes, nor for students who have not yet taken on-campus subjects in Arts. The pre-requisites for STS103 and STS203 include one Arts subject.

Contact the STS Program for further information on Home Study.
Honours in STS
Students who complete a major in STS and who achieve an average of at least a Credit grade in their later subjects are encouraged to apply to study STS at Honours level. Honours students undertake a one year full-time or two-year part-time programme: a 12 credit point seminar on theory and methods in STS, a reading subject of 12 credit points, and a thesis of about 15000 words. Students considering Honours in STS are encouraged to talk to the STS Honours Coordinator or the Head of Program well in advance to seek approval for enrolment, discuss their programme, and negotiate a thesis topic and supervisor.
Joint Honours
Students who have completed studies in STS and another discipline accepted as equivalent to a major, and who achieve an average of at least a Credit grade in their later subjects, are encouraged to apply to study for Joint Honours. Students taking an interdisciplinary major which includes a strand in STS may qualify for Joint Honours – for example, the popular STS & Geosciences combination in the Resource and Environmental Studies major can lead to Joint Honours in STS & Geosciences. Joint Honours is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme, consisting of components from the Honours programmes of each unit approved by both Heads as forming a coherent programme, including a jointly supervised thesis. Typically the STS coursework component is the 12 credit point Honours theory and methods seminar. Students considering Joint Honours are encouraged to talk to the unit Honours Coordinators or Heads well in advance to seek approval for enrolment, discuss their programme, and negotiate a thesis topic and supervisors.
Postgraduate opportunities
The STS Program offers opportunities for postgraduate study.
The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Science, Technology and Society) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course. The Diploma is intended for graduates of any discipline who have little or no background in the social study of science and technology. It is particularly valuable for science or engineering graduates who want to broaden their training and examine the social, political and policy aspects of their work. It may also lead to further postgraduate study in STS and related fields. The programme of study consists of 48 credit points of 200- and 300-level subjects from the STS undergraduate schedule. It may also include an individually supervised research subject. Application forms are available from the Student Enquiry Desk in Building 36. For further details or to discuss an application, please contact the STS Program.
Honours Master of Arts by Research

A thesis embodying the results of a significant and original investigation under the supervision of staff member. The programme of research must be approved by the Head of Program. Candidates for this degree enrol in STS924.

PhD in Science & Technology Studies

A wide variety of areas in the STS field are available for doctoral research. The course is expected to take three years of full-time or six years of part-time study. A limited number of scholarships are available on a competitive basis. Applicants are normally expected to have an honours degree, or a Masters with equivalent research experience, in STS or a related area. Applicants with other backgrounds may be accepted subject to a requirement to undertake coursework in STS during a probationary first year. If you are interested in postgraduate research opportunities in STS, see the University Postgraduate Calendar, or contact the STS Program.

STS subjects in other Arts majors
STS subjects are integrated into several interdisciplinary Arts majors, into the majors run by several other Programs, and into other non-major Arts studies areas. For more details, see:
Aboriginal Studies

Students may take STS120 or STS220/221 Technology in Society: East and West to count towards the major.

Asia Pacific Studies

Students may take STS120/220/221 Technology in Society: East and West to count towards the major.

Communication and Cultural Studies

STS240 Technological Change, Popular Culture and New Media is approved for inclusion in the CCS major.


The following STS subjects may be counted towards the History major:

STS112/117/212/217 The Scientific Revolution

STS238 Changing Images of Nature and the Environment

STS336 Advanced Topics in the History of Science 1500-1800
Information Studies

Students take STS128/228 Computers in Society as a core subject in the IS major and may take further STS subjects in Strand 4 to form one of two specialist strands.


Students may apply to the Professor of Politics or nominee to count up to 12 credit points of STS 300-level subjects towards the Politics major. The following subjects are particularly relevant:

STS300 Environmental Context

STS323 Politics of Medicine and Health

STS329 Scientific and Technological Controversy

STS335 The Politics of Risk

STS340 Technological Change, Popular Culture and New Media

Resource and Environmental Studies

Students take

STS116 Environment in Crisis

STS300 The Environmental Context

as core subjects in the RES major and may take further STS subjects in Sequence C to form one of two specialist sequences. This may lead to joint honours in STS and the other discipline. The STS & Geosciences combination is a popular option, and may lead to joint honours (see page 5).

STS subjects to complement other Arts majors

When devising your degree programme, you should consider carefully appropriate electives to complement and extend your major. Aside from those subjects listed above, some of which may be counted towards a major, the STS Program recommends its introductory subject STS100/103/200/203 Social Aspects of Science and Technology and the following additions:

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