The community of scholars at MIT’s Program on Science, Technology and Society bring methods from the humanities and social sciences to understanding science, technology, and medicine around the world. Our department includes lively undergraduate and graduate programs, and postgraduate training for science and technology journalists.
By bridging humanities, social sciences, science, technology, and medicine, our department seeks to build relationships among colleagues across the Institute in a shared effort to understand the human challenges at the core of the MIT mission.
Statement by the Steering Committee of the MIT Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) on the 27 January 2017 Executive Order Restricting Immigration to the United States of America
On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order of extraordinary breadth restricting legally recognized refugees and the nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries (including U.S. legal permanent residents) from entry into the United States. As a university community, MIT depends on the open exchange of ideas across borders and has a large number of students who are foreign nationals. The Steering Committee of the HASTS doctoral program therefore finds our basic research and educational mission imperiled by this executive order. We emphatically affirm our support for the members of our HASTS community, and for all MIT faculty, students, and staff, affected by the executive order.
As of January 29, 2017, at least five federal courts – in New York, Virginia, Washington, California, and Massachusetts – have temporarily enjoined enforcement of key parts of the executive order on the grounds that they likely violate due process and equal protection. These injunctions suggest that the President’s directive is being recognized for what it is: a religious test for admission to the United States for the nationals of the seven majority-Muslim nations affected, with a thinly veiled exception for Christians written into the very language of the order. Such a policy recalls some of the most troubling episodes of nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. immigration law, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the National Origins Act and Asian Exclusion Act of 1924.
The court orders were preceded and accompanied by major public demonstrations at international airports around the country, most notably at JFK in New York, as well as rallies in major public spaces such as Copley Square in Boston. The outpouring of public support for Muslim immigrants and refugees evokes the best aspects of our nation’s tradition as a haven for those of all races, religions, and backgrounds seeking protection and a new life. It is consistent with the commitment of the HASTS program and MIT to create a diverse community united in its goal to improve our world through research and education.
Head, Anthropology Program
Elting E. Morison Chair
Professor of Anthropology
Jennifer S. Light
Department Head, Program in STS
Professor of Science, Technology, and Society
Professor of Urban Planning
Jeffrey S. Ravel
Head, History Faculty
Professor of History
Christine J. Walley
Professor of Anthropology
Director of Graduate Studies, HASTS
STS In The News
New book by Will Deringer – “Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age”
Feb 7, 2018
Truth, Beauty, Science.
February 16, 2018, 12:39 pm / by Jane Roberts
February 16, 2018, 12:00 pm / by Martin Doyle
February 15, 2018, 11:18 am / by Gabriel Popkin
February 14, 2018, 10:33 am / by Dinsa Sachan
SPECIAL EVENTS and COLLOQUIA
SPRING 2018 STS EVENTS
Faculty Spotlight: Robin Scheffler
Robin Wolfe Scheffler, Assistant Professor in the Science, Technology, and Society Program, is an historian of the modern biological and biomedical sciences and their intersections with developments in American history. He is currently working on a project that follows the history of cancer virus research in the twentieth century from legislature to laboratory, documenting its origins and impact on the modern biological sciences. His other projects include the history of the biotechnology industry and a chemical biography of dioxins. The common goal of Professor Scheffler’s projects is to understand the mutual influence of science on society and of society on science.