Science, Technology, and Society

Past Events

Spring 2022 Events

The STS Program presents:
Coming Untethered:  Social and Behavioral Aspects of Digital Connectivity
Julie Albright, USC  | Dornsife Applied Psychology and Viterbi Engineering
Board Member, Infrastructure Masons
Tuesday April 19, noon-1:00; Zoom 

Spring 2021 Events

The STS Program and the CLASS Climate Change & Sustainability Task Force present:
Expanding the Parameters of Sustainability: Creating a Campus and CSU Culture of Regeneration
Natale Zappia, Director of the Institute for Sustainability, CSU Northridge
Friday April 23, noon-1:00; Earth Week Zoom talk

The STS Program presents:
Cultivating trust in autonomous vehicles: Obstacles, drivers, and ethical issues
Ryan Jenkins, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department, Cal Poly SLO
Monday, May10, 2:00-3:30; Zoom
Abstract:  Autonomous vehicles are easily one of the most highly anticipated emerging technologies in the last several decades. Among their most storied benefits will supposedly be a reduction in the 35,000 lives that are lost on US roads every year. But saving these lives requires widespread public uptake. And that uptake, in turn, requires building public trust. How can this trust be cultivated in a technology that is new, dramatically different from previous technologies, already haunted by driver and pedestrian deaths, and plagued by worries about algorithmic bias and the distribution of benefits? And what are the respective roles for technologies, social scientists, and philosophers, in addressing these concerns? 

Spring 2019 Events

The CLASS Climate Change & Sustainability Task Force, CPP History Department, and CPP Science, Technology, and Society Program present:
Being the Change:  Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution
Film screening, April 22, 2019, 4-6pm in the CPP Library, Room 1807.  Special Guest:  Peter Kalmus. JPL Physicist and Atmospheric Scientist, star of Being the Change and author of the companion book.

CPP Library presents:
Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories, Natalie Russell, Assistant Curator of Library Collections at The Huntington Library; April 11,  4:00-5:00pm, University Library, 3rd Floor Grand Reading Room.
Abstract: Octavia E. Butler was the first female African-American writer to make science fiction her career. A shy, only child from Pasadena, California, she dreamed of ordinary people in extraordinary worlds, and extraordinary people in ordinary worlds, and put them on the page. Her stories brought the voice of woman of color to a genre traditionally dominated by white men. That powerful voice tackled issues, not just about race, but themes that continue to resonate with a wide audience: power, identity, gender, class, the environment, and what it means to be human.

7 th  Annual Student RSCA Conference Symposium at Cal Poly Pomona features:
Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain within Information Systems, Albert Fattal,  STS Major; March 1, 1:45-2:00 pm, Building 9 - Room 211.
Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain are two major technologies with the potential of transforming modern business and leadership. While each one of the two technologies offers both technical and business advantages, when working together they promise a technical and economic revolution. In modern business and leadership, the two technologies promise to improve transparency, efficiency and openness in all processes. In the discipline of Information Systems, AI and Blockchain ensure that various stakeholders own up to their data and keep a log of every individual that accesses such information. This research explores why the use of AI and Blockchain in Information Management Systems increase fairness, empowerment and fosters open economies.

Fall 2018 Events

4 th  Annual Creative Activities & Research Symposium at Cal Poly Pomona features:
Artificial Intelligence: Principles, Technologies, Breakthroughs, Impacts and Challenges, Albert Fattal,  STS Major; August 16, 9:30 am, University Library
Abstract: The twenty-first century has witnessed a tremendous growth in computing technology. Artificial Intelligence is one of the most important aspects of Information Technology that has received a boost due to this growth. Computers and their accessories have become increasingly cheaper, allowing more people to participate in the evolution of the technology. The interest to develop machines with human-like thinking capabilities began in the mid-twentieth century with the invention of the Turing machine. Since then, engineers, scientists, and software programmers have successfully created programs and algorithms that enable machines to act autonomously. The future presents a vast array of possibilities, mainly spurred by advances in technology and contribution to the field. An often asked question is whether future AI will be capable of developing sentient thoughts. This research explores the principles, supporting technologies, breakthroughs, and impacts of AI technology in modern society.

Winter 2018 Events

The Cal Poly History Department hosts:
From the Cold War to the Space Race: Science, Technology, and Society in Southern California
The Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Southern California
February 10, 2018

Spring 2017 Events

The Cal Poly History Department, History Club, and Science, Technology, and Society Program present:
Merchants of Doubt:  How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
Film screening, May 2, 2017, 7-9pm in Building 5, Room 255.  Special Guest:  Historian and author Erik M. Conway

Spring 2016 Events

The Cal Poly History Department and Science, Technology, and Society Program present:
Symposium on Science and Modern China, June 1, 2016 (rescheduled from May 25), 12-1pm in CPP Faculty Center Conference Room in 1-228, with panelists Lijing Jiang (Nanyang University of Technology, Singapore), Nick Menzies (Huntington Library), Zhen Zhao (National University of Defense Technology of China and CPP visiting scholar), and Zuoyue Wang (CPP).

Fall 2015 Events

The Cal Poly Pomona Physics and Astronomy Department presents:
Physicists as Diplomats: U.S.-China Scientific Exchanges from Arms Control to Climate Change
Thursday December 3, 2015 11:00 to noon, Building 8, Room 241
Zuoyue Wang, History Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Fall 2013

Kellogg Distinguished Public Lecture Series presents:
The Story of Stuff
Thursday, November 14 at 7:00, University Theater,
Annie Leonard, Activist for Sustainability and Filmmaker
Funded by the Kellogg Legacy Project Endowment

Winter-Spring 2013

Kellogg Distinguished Public Lecture Series presents:
Growing older: Lessons from traditional societies
Thursday, April 25 at 7:00, Univeristy Theater,
Jared Diamond
, Professor of Geography, UCLA
Funded by the Kellogg Legacy Project Endowment

Kellogg Distinguished Public Lecture Series presents:
Dolly to Stem Cell Therapy
Thursday, February 21at 7:00, Bronco Student Center-Ursa Major,
Sir Ian Wilmut
, Professor Emeritus,MCR Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh
Funded by the Kellogg Legacy Project Endowment

Winter-Spring 2012

NanoDays Seminar
Nanotechnology in Science Fiction
Thursday, April 19 at noon, University Library, Room 2907,
David Tanenbaum, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Pomona College

Economics Speaker Series Worth Publishers and Cal Poly Pomona present:
The Crisis: Year Five  (PDF)
Friday, April 13 at 3:00, Ursa Major Suite in the Bronco Student Center,
Paul Krugman, Winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics and Princeton University Professor of Economics

First Year Experience presents:
Climate Whiplash – What Happens AFTER Global Warming
Thursday, February 16 at 3:00, Ursa Major Suite in the Bronco Student Center,
Curt Stager
, ecologist, paleoclimatologist, and science journalist

Kellogg Distinguished Public Lecture Series presents:
"The Role of Science and Technology in Achieving Global Food Security"
Thursday, January 26 at 7:00, Univeristy Theater,
Roger Beachy
, President Emeritus, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis. Funded by the Kellogg Legacy Project Endowment

Fall 2011

Climate Change: It's not that Simple!
Panel discussion
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2:00, Ursa Major Suite in the Bronco Student Center
Panelists include Charles Kolstad, environmental economics professor at UC Santa Barbara; James Miller, assistant professor of geography at Cal State Fullerton; and Dean Freudenberger, a food policy expert who previously worked at Lutheran Theological seminary

Winter-Spring 2011

Physics for Future Presidents, PHY 299, will be offered in Spring 2011
This course, modeled on Richard A. Mueller's UC Berkeley course and using Mueller's text, takes up topics such as radioactivity, chain reactions, and nuclear bombs, and energy, power, and explosions.

From the Bottom Up: Nanoscale Science and Technology at Thirty  (PDF)
Thursday, April 7 at 11:00 (Ursa Major B) Professor Adam Z. Stieg, Scientific Director, Nano and Pico Characterization Lab, California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA. Sponsored by Engineering Council, Physics Department, and CCRAA

Epistemology of Science
A cross-disciplinary discussion
Thursday, February 10 at noon (5-103) Professor Zuoyue Wang (Cal Poly Pomona, History) and Associate Professor Peter Ross (Cal Poly Pomona, Philosophy) discuss the epistemology of science for the Political Science Department.

Fall 2010

The Cal Poly Pomona First Year Experience Program Presents:
Annie Leonard
The author of   The Story of Stuff  will be making a personal appearance
4-6 PM, November 16, 2010 in Ursa Minor

Faculty Led Panels on Story of Stuff Videos
See the videos and discuss the issues
Tuesdays, 12:00 - 12:50 pm in 15-1807 (Library Classroom on First Floor )
October 19, 2010 --   The Story of Stuff
October 26, 2010 --   The Story of Bottled Water
November 02, 2010 --   The Story of Cap and Trade
November 09, 2010 --   The Story of Cosmetics

The Cal Poly Pomona Department of Economics Presents:
Is Cap and Trade the Solution to Our Carbon Woes?
A Panel discussion
Join us on Wednesday, October 27th at noon (room TBA) for a panel discussion of the merits of Cap and Trade.
Panelists include USC economists Adam Rose and and Anthony Bertelli.

Fall 2009

Fall Conference, Cal Poly Pomona: Introducing the Science, Technology, and Society Major/Minor Hosted by Peter Ross
Date & Location: Monday, September 21st  |  4:00pm-5:00pm  |  Ursa Minor

Spring 2009

Environmental Sustainability Speaker Series
The Hugh O. La Bounty Chair of Interdisciplinary and Applied Knowledge will sponsor a series of talks which highlights the university's focus on this issue. The series, Environmental Sustainability and its Challenges features Paul Roberts, author of The End of Oil and The End of Food (speaking on April 14), Peter Gleick, an expert on sustainable water use and Director of the Pacific Institute (speaking on April 28), and Dale Jamieson, an expert in ethics and environmental policy and the Director of Environmental Studies at New York University (speaking on May 11). All talks are scheduled from noon-1:30. The series marks the initiation of the university's new Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Major and Minor programs, which has just begun to accept students. STS is an interdisciplinary program of study and research which integrates knowledge in the natural sciences and in technology as well as in the humanities and social sciences. The Philosophy Department is currently administering the STS Major and Minor programs.

April 2009

A Science, Technology, and Society Major   flier  (PDF), containing the curriculum for both the STS Major and the STS Minor, is now available, as is the   2009-2010 STS Road Map  (PDF) (laying out a suggested course sequence for students in the STS Major). Questions should be directed to Peter Ross at pwross 'at'

Spring 2008

Cal Poly Pomona Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Major approved by CSU Chancellor
On May 28, 2008, CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed approved the Cal Poly Pomona STS Major. We anticipate the Major, which will be administered by the Philosophy Department, to start Fall 2009. STS is an interdisciplinary program for research and teaching which studies the interaction between science and technology, and society. For more about STS at Cal Poly Pomona, see the program's   prospectus  (DOC). Questions should be directed to Peter Ross at pwross 'at'

Winter 2007

Campus Forum provided a venue for four speakers on STS topics:

January 2007

Langdon Winner
RPI Professor talks about the relation between technology and democracy.

Richard Worthington
Pomona College political science professor talks about public participation in science and technology policy.

February 2007

Naomi Oreskes
Historian of science at UCSD talks about the scientific consensus on global climate change.

Judith Carney
Geographer at UCLA talks about the African origin of rice cultivation in the Americas.

These talks are available on steaming video through the " In Conversation" channel.