Accepted Paper:

STS as un-discipline? Teaching "Science, Technology and Society" in Singapore  


Catelijne Coopmans (National University of Singapore)

Paper long abstract:

One fortuitous side-effect of transnational or 'global' infrastructures for the production of scientific knowledge and technological development is that they stimulate the spread of STS teaching. A case in point is Singapore, a country that made an international splash soon after the turn of the millennium by tying part of its economic fate to research and development in the biosciences, and where since then an STS community has been steadily gaining momentum at the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University.

This talk connects to the track's theme by asking: How does STS get taught? What are the presumptions and priorities of those who teach STS, and with what consequences for what is, and is not, identified as of concern, interest and relevance to students and societies?

The talk speaks to such issues by offering a view from the trenches. Reflecting on six years of teaching STS at the National University of Singapore, first in the Department of Sociology and now at Tembusu College, I use the notion of STS as (an) 'un-discipline' to comment on the possible place for and potential of STS in educating undergraduates in Singapore. The broader aim of the talk is to stimulate discussion on the purpose and configuration of STS education in different contexts and parts of the world.

Panel C4
Non-concerns about science and technology and within STS