The key disciplinary components of STS took shape independently, beginning in the 1960s, and developed in isolation from each other well into the 1980s, although Ludwig Fleck's monograph (1935) Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact anticipated many of STS's key themes:
Science studies, a branch of the sociology of scientific knowledge that places scientific controversies in their social context.
History of technology, that examines technology in its social and historical context. Starting in the 1960s, some historians questioned technological determinism, a doctrine that can induce public passivity to technologic and scientific 'natural' development. At the same time, some historians began to develop similarly contextual approaches to the history of medicine.
History and philosophy of science (1960s). After the publication of Thomas Kuhn's well-known The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), which attributed changes in scientific theories to changes in underlying intellectual paradigms, programs were founded at the University of California, Berkeley and elsewhere that brought historians of science and philosophers together in unified programs.
Science, technology, and society In the mid- to late-1960s, student and faculty social movements in the U.S., UK, and European universities helped to launch a range of new interdisciplinary fields (such as Women's Studies) that were seen to address relevant topics that the traditional curriculum ignored. One such development was the rise of "science, technology, and society" programs, which are also—confusingly—known by the STS acronym. Drawn from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, history, political science, and sociology, scholars in these programs created undergraduate curricula devoted to exploring the issues raised by science and technology. Unlike scholars in science studies, history of technology, or the history and philosophy of science, they were... [continues]
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