STS.069 Technology in a Dangerous World

Fall 2002

Animated illustration of the rapid decrease in commercial air traffic over the continental United States from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on September 11, 2001.
Illustration of the rapid decrease in air traffic over the continental United States from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, September 11, 2001. Each plane in the graphic represents 100 civilian aircraft. (Animation courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)

Course Highlights

The instructor has included an introductory essay (PDF) that provides background on the development of this material, which she strongly encourages site visitors to read prior to exploring this site.

This site incorporates material from both Fall 2002, STS.069 Technology in a Dangerous World--which explored issues arising from the attacks of September 11, 2001--and Spring 2003, STS.092 Current Events from an STS Perspective, which developed as an outgrowth of STS.069. This site also includes video excepts of an MIT event discussing the attacks of September 11, 2001, located in the related resources section.

Course Description

Aim is to analyze important current events for what they reveal about the nature and working of our technological world. Starting point is connection between technology and terrorism. Subject also explores how a human-built world can foster insecurity and danger, and how human beings respond. Many invited guests help develop a strong interdisciplinary approach (science, engineering, social science, humanities). Topics include technological risk and remediation, sociotechnical systems, imagination of disaster, technology and identity, technology and religion, technology and education, and technology and trust. Written and oral assignments and a final project required. Service-learning proposals and web-based presentations, in addition to written work, may be considered for the final project by the instructor.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .rm files found on this course site.

RealOne™ is a trademark or a registered trademark of RealNetworks, Inc.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Rosalind Williams

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session