Council on Science and Technology

Overview

The Council on Science and Technology (CST) provides opportunities for every Princeton student, regardless of their major, to understand, apply and appreciate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their everyday lives and in society. To accomplish this, the CST develops vibrant, interdisciplinary partnerships with colleagues from engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, the arts, humanities and social sciences that explore and promote understanding of the interrelationship between STEM, culture and society. From innovative courses to original and avant-garde events, as well as the opportunity to explore and experiment with innovative technologies in a welcoming, state-of-the-art StudioLab, the CST’s synergistic activities ensure that every student can make meaningful and lasting connections to STEM. A small sampling of some of the CST’s recent activities can be found on our website.

All students are welcome and encouraged to engage with the CST through the opportunities listed below.

Program Offerings

Academic Opportunities in Interdisciplinary STEM 

CST Courses: The CST encourages and facilitates the development of innovative, high-quality courses with minimal prerequisites through which undergraduates can satisfy the University’s Science and Engineering (SEL and SEN) distribution requirement.  A plethora of courses such as Musical Instruments, Sound, Perception, and Creativity; Transformations in Engineering and the Arts; Forensic Anthropology and Urban Bodies; and Transformative Questions in Biology provide countless opportunities for students to immerse themselves in high- quality STEM learning accessible to all students. CST cross-listed SEL and SEN courses are provided on the CST website.

Co-Curricular Opportunities in Interdisciplinary STEM

The StudioLab 

The StudioLab is a creative technology space for all members of the Princeton University community. As part of the Council on Science and Technology, StudioLab nurtures interdisciplinary networks of arts, sciences and humanities practitioners, regardless of their level of experience. Through workshops, lectures and hackathons, StudioLab supports experimentation and exploration through innovative uses of technology. StudioLab provides a library of games, digital fabrication technologies and immersive media in a hybrid space at the intersection of the laboratory, makerspace and artist's studio.

Interdisciplinary Events and Activities

The CST hosts numerous events for students as well as faculty to discuss shared interests across disciplines. The Council's Evnin Lecture series features prominent scientists, engineers, mathematicians and artists who engage a wide audience both inside and outside the University community. The CST also awards the Pope Prize for Science Writing to a student who has shown a keen interest in science and demonstrated an outstanding ability to communicate that enthusiasm to a wide audience. Additionally, the CST hosts a biennial Living at the Intersection Symposium that examines a topic through interdisciplinary lenses.

Leadership, Research and Funding Opportunities in Interdisciplinary STEM

Student Leadership

The CST is committed to providing Princeton students with opportunities to become leaders in STEM and beyond. To that end, the CST welcomes students to serve as Student Advisory Board, research/program interns and work study students. In each of these capacities, students can support the work of the CST while gaining valuable experience in areas such as workshop design and implementation, event planning and marketing, science education research and social media outreach. Students interested in any of these opportunities should contact Kathy Galvin, CST Events and Communications Coordinator, at [email protected].

Student Funding and Research

CST provides SAFE funding for students to support research or projects that align with the CST’s mission. Examples of recently funded projects can be found here. The CST also has opportunities for students to work on projects with CST’s multifaceted and accomplished staff. Students interested in any of these opportunities should contact Kathy Galvin, CST Events and Communications Coordinator, at [email protected].

Students interested in learning more about any of these opportunities can follow CST via its website or via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Goals for Student Learning

Participation in CST’s courses and programs supports a number of learning goals. Students will: 

  • Gain an understanding of various approaches to scientific inquiry through classroom, laboratory and field-based STEM experiences.
  • Recognize and appreciate the importance of science in their everyday lives and in society. 
  • Apply their understanding of science content and processes to practical contexts.
  • Understand that STEM benefits, and has historically benefitted, from the participation of diverse individuals who contribute to STEM. 
  • Develop a sense of belonging in a STEM community regardless of their academic background, major or career goals.
  • Improve their leadership and teamwork skills through participation in STEM research opportunities and extracurricular programming. 
  • Enhance their critical reflection and argumentation skills in STEM through engagement and analysis of scientific concepts and methods. 
  • Develop, apply and refine effective STEM communication skills/strategies that can be tailored to different audiences.
  • Develop interdisciplinary thinking and broader perspectives through integration of  STEM with the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Faculty

  • Director

    • Maria E. Garlock (interim)
  • Executive Committee

    • Jane F. Cox, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Jo Dunkley, Physics
    • Maria E. Garlock, Civil and Environmental Eng
    • Michael H. Hecht, Chemistry
    • Elizabeth H. Margulis, Music
    • Forrest M. Meggers, Architecture
    • Erika L. Milam, History
    • Radhika Nagpal, Mechanical & Aerospace Eng
    • Mary C. Stoddard, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Sits with Committee

    • Vivian Feng
    • Erin Elise Flowers
    • Penelope Georges
    • Craig A. Marshall
  • Lecturer

    • Penelope Georges
    • Craig A. Marshall

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Courses

STC 101 - From DNA to Human Complexity (also MOL 101) Spring SEL

STC 102 - Neuroscience and Everyday Life (also MOL 110/NEU 101) Not offered this year SEL

STC 102A - Climate: Past, Present, and Future (also ENV 102A/GEO 102A) Not offered this year SEN

STC 102B - Climate: Past, Present, and Future (also ENV 102B/GEO 102B) Not offered this year SEL

STC 115A - Physics for Future Leaders (also PHY 115A) Fall SEN

STC 115B - Physics for Future Leaders (also PHY 115B) Fall SEL

STC 299 - Special Topics in STEM (also THR 299) Spring LASN

This course is a collaboration between science and creative expression. Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental role that microbes (viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms) have played in environmental stability and human evolution. We will then explore the impact of microbes on climate change and discuss innovation and solutions. Concurrently, we will be exploring various forms of creative expression (writing, movement, improvisation, image making, etc.), with which to playfully observe, meditate and communicate the scientific material. Students will collaborate on final creative projects. V. Font, A. Darwish

STC 311 - Building Science and Technology: Building Systems (also ARC 311) Fall

STC 349 - Writing about Science (also ENV 349/JRN 349) Fall SEN

This course will teach STEM & non-STEM majors how to write about research in STEM fields with clarity and a bit of flair. Goal will be to learn to convey technical topics to non-experts in a compelling, enjoyable way while staying true to the underlying facts, context and concepts. We'll do this through readings, class discussion, encounters with professional writers and journalists of all sorts, across several different media. Most important of all, students will practice what they learn in frequent writing assignments that will be critiqued extensively by an experienced science journalist. M. Lemonick

STC 398 - Health and Human Rights in the World Community Not offered this year SA

This seminar will examine the relationship between health and human rights. It will provide an overview of human rights violations in the world today and an analysis of their health consequences. The course will consider how individual and community health can be improved by protecting and promoting human rights. It will also evaluate the role of health professionals in caring for victims of human rights abuses, documenting the health consequences of human rights violations, and participating in human rights advocacy and education. One three-hour seminar. A. Keller

STC 460 - Diseases in Children: Causes, Costs, and Choices (also GHP 460/MOL 460) Fall EM