Society & Technology Residential College

Explore the complex, two-way relationship between technology and society.

Learn how people — as individuals and as members of groups, organizations, and society as a whole — influence the development of science and technology as well as the consequences of technology for family, work, health and community. Read and reflect about topics that are not only interesting to talk about with friends but — given the importance of technology to all walks of life these days — could also put you on a promising career path that may not directly involve science or engineering.

Society & Technology College Student Staff

Bree Hicks, Junior Fellow

Bree Hicks

"You should definitely join a Residential College your first year at Bucknell. I was surrounded by people with different majors and backgrounds that I may not have gotten the chance to hang out with otherwise. Yet, they had the same interest as me in the theme of the Res College and it was comforting seeing familiar faces in class. The fun events and trips also brought me closer with the people on my hall which made the transition to college easier socially. It was definitely one of my best experiences in my first year and I recommend it to everyone."

Hometown: Washington, DC
Major: computer science & engineering

Kofi Poku, Junior Fellow

Kofi Poku

"I joined a Residential College completely on a whim, and it turned out to be the best choice I could have made. Being part of a Residential College allowed me to feel part of a community as soon as school began, and that community grew over my first year as I met and bonded with more people in colleges outside of my own. The relationships that I was able to form with faculty through my Residential College were equally invaluable. All of this made being part of Society & Technology one the top highlights of my first year at Bucknell."

Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Major: computer engineering

Allison Sullivan, Junior Fellow

Allison Sullivan

"Being in a Residential College was a great experience. I made some of my closest friends through the program. Starting college in a Res College allowed me to quickly build connections and learn more about the university. If you aren’t sure whether to join or not, I fully recommend just going for it. Because the program fosters living-learning communities, there will always be someone around to help you! Society & Technology will give you many opportunities to build and grow your understanding of the science around you."

Hometown: White Oak, Pa.
Major: biology

Society & Technology College Alumni

Society & Technology Residential College

Abby Borden '08

Abby Borden '08

"Borden is used to rubbing elbows with the stars. She's been working on the Grammy after-party for six years in a number of roles, and truth be told, she barely notices when stars like Madonna, Taylor Swift or Sam Smith come waltzing through the door."

Alumni Story: Abby Borden '08

Society & Technology Residential College

Nicole Kendrot '09

Nicole Kendrot '09

"They’re trying to wade through all the complexities, to figure out: How much do I owe? When do I owe it? How much am I going to owe? What do I do if I can’t afford these payments?"

Alumni Story: Nicole Kendrot '09

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

The Future is Now

What is the future of the planet and the humans on that planet, and what role will technology play in creating that future? In this course, we will focus on a few key technologies that are rapidly changing our world. What is the future of parenthood in a world where technologies such as IVF and genetic engineering are becoming increasingly accessible to the masses? Will it be a future of genetically perfected children? What about other kinds of modification to human beings, digital and otherwise? What is the future of genetically engineered food? How are new communication tools changing our patterns of communication and ourselves? Is ‘24/7' technology threatening our privacy?

We will ask, more broadly, how and why are these technologies chosen by societies? Do we act — indeed, can we act — as individuals to control our destinies when technological change seems to threaten other human values, or do we need a collective solution? In other words, in a modern technological world, how much can we control our fates, either as individuals or as a society?

Technology Equals Progress?

Technology is often, unquestioningly, perceived as a measure of the advancement of a society. The advantages that it provides, from the eradication of diseases to the capabilities of mobile communication, cause us to embrace technology. It is seen as a powerful tool for solving problems and alleviating the chores of regular routines. But does technological advancement ensure universal benefits? Every new development is a consequence of choices made by the members of a society.

The goal of this course is to explore the inextricable connection between new technologies and the underlying values of the society developing them. We will examine current and historical examples to better appreciate the role of each.

Don't Fear the Reaper: Living with Dying in America

Americans love to play video games, read books and view movies that involve someone's death. We are not so fond of talking about death as it relates to each one of us. In this course, we will dare to talk about death. Together, we will explore the reasons why we use euphemisms for it, study the methods by which the funeral industry attempts to sell it, reflect on the practices the major religious traditions use to interpret it, and examine the lengths to which the medical profession will go to forestall it. On the journey, we will discover humor, experience pathos and, hopefully, make peace with the whole reality of living with death in America.

Grand Challenges

There are many "Grand Challenges" currently facing the peoples of the world, including for example, universal access to clean water, securing cyberspace, making solar energy economical, and engineering better medicines. How can these challenges be addressed and solved in ways that truly benefit all of humanity? What roles do the natural sciences, the social sciences, and engineering play in their solution?

This foundation seminar seeks to bring together students interested in various fields of study to contextualize the science and engineering principles underlying worldwide technical challenges as well as the central roles that economics, anthropology, and public policy play in solving them. We will together develop a better understanding of the challenges facing the world and how each of us can contribute, even in a small way, to their solution.


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