STS Senior Poster Presentations

Thursday, April 30 from 2-3:30 p.m. in Parker-Reed (CLAS)
Tuesday, May 5 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in Parker-Reed (STS end-of-year celebration)
Friday, May 8, noon-1:00 p.m. at the Waterville Public Library
Refreshments available at all sessions

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STS Senior Class of 2015

2015 Seniors

List of senior thesis topics

Continue reading

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STS Events Fall 2014

Thurs. Nov. 13 at 4:00 pm in Lovejoy 215, Lynda Walsh, Professor of English, University of Nevada Reno speaking on the Visual composition processes of STEM researchers and the implications for civic scientific literacy,

Fri. Nov. 14 at 12 noon in the Fairchild Room in Dana with a tray lunch
Pedagogical workshop with Professor Lynda Walsh, University of Nevada Reno
Using the Copia Technique to Support Diversity in the Writing Classroom

Mon. Nov. 17 at 4:00 pm in Lovejoy 215
Maurits W. Ertsen, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
An Ant’s Nest Could Bring Down a Hill” — On human agency and environment in colonial irrigation in the Gezira, Sudan

Thurs, Nov. 20 at 7:00 pm in Ostrove Auditorium
IBM Lecture
Guy Palmer of Washington State University
“Justice Potter Stewart and the Definition of Global Health”

Fri., Nov 21 at 4:00 pm in Lovejoy 215, Joseph Martin, Michigan State University, “Scientists A​re Worse than Other Professors”: Science and Morality at Robert Maynard Hutchins’s University of Chicago.

Wed. Dec. 3 from 1-3 pm and 4-5 pm in the Adams Lobby, Colby Museum of Art, International poster presentations from students in ST215 on Weather, Climate, and Society from 1-3 pm, followed by improvisational dances on weather and climate by students in TD258 from 4-5 pm. Refreshments served

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Earlier Events:

Monday, September 15 at 4:00 pm in Davis 301
Math and Stats lecture by Fernando Gouvêa speaking on Cross-cultural Mathematics:  The Story of S. Ramanujan and G. H. Hardy.

Thurs. Sept. 18 at 7:00 pm in Olin 01
IBM lecture by Jennifer Wilcox from Stanford University speaking on Carbon Capture and Safe Storage. Co-sponsored by Chemistry and STS.

Thurs. Sept. 25 at noon in Wormster Room, Miller Library (Noontime Faculty Forum), Jim Fleming speaking on Entreprenours of Atmospheric Research, 1900-1960.

Thurs. Oct. 9 @ 7:00 pm in Diamond 141
Development Discourse, Tropical Disease and the Resurgence of Malaria in Sri Lanka from 1967 to 1987
Kalinga Tudor Silva, Senior Professor of Sociology at University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and the Resident Director for the Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education Program

Fri. Oct. 17 at 3:30 Reception for students and families outside Lovejoy 100
4:00 pm in Lovejoy 100, Family Weekend lecture with Lou McNally and Jim Fleming speaking on “Anne Louise Beck (1896-1982): Bringing Bergen Weather Forecasting to the U.S., The most important and dynamic meteorologist you have never heard about.”

Thursday, Oct. 23, Lovejoy 215, 4:00pm
Indigenous Peoples, Climate Justice and the Responsibilities of Settler States
Kyle Powys Whyte, Citizen of the Potawatomi Nation, Philosophy Department, Michigan State University

Friday, Oct. 24, KEyes 105, 1:00 pm
Is Climate Instability in Our Future? Or is it Here Already? The Arctic and Its Impact
Paul Mayewski, Director of the Climate Institute at the University of Maine

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STS Senior Posters today Mon. April 28

2014 Seniors

The STS seniors will present their final project posters today, Monday, April 28 from 4-6 pm in SSW. Refreshments will be provided.  Most of these student will also participate in CLAS presentations this coming Thursday.

Madeline Wilson, “Blowing in the Wind: Evaluating Community and Operator Relations in the Maine Wind Energy Industry”

Marianne Ferguson, “Three’s a Crowd: Lobstermen, Scientists, PolicyMakers and the Management of the Maine Lobster Industry”

Lauren Lacy, “Bad Blood: Investigating the Ban on MSM Blood Donation”

Sydney Hammond, “Russian Censorship vs. Twitter: An Examination of Global Policing”

Monique Kelly, “Watch What Whe-eat: An Analysis of the Gluten-Free Diet”

Sarah Barrese, “‘A golden age free from crime, disease, filth, and poverty’: Muckrakers and Public Health Reform in the Progressive Era”

James Wyse, “The New Space Race”

Peter Grayson Hamblett, “The Educated Terrorist: The Formative Years and Philosophy of Ted Kaczynski”

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Lecture: Risky Genes: Genetics, Breast Cancer, and Jewish Identity

Risky Genes: Genetics, Breast Cancer, and Jewish Identityrisky genes
Dr. Jessica Mozersky

Date/Time/Location: 4:00 p.m., April 10, Lovejoy 215

Ashkenazi Jews have the highest known population risk of carrying specific mutations, known as the “Ashkenazi mutations,” in the high risk breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. While many populations have been associated with an increased risk of genetic disease, Ashkenazi Jews are the most prominent subjects of genetic re- search. This may seem paradoxical given their history of discrimination, which included claims of biological difference and inferiority. Using qualitative ethnographic data with high risk Ashkenazi women living in the UK, this talk will explore the ways in which genetic knowledge about hereditary breast cancer risk can actually reiterate collective identity. Genetic narratives about disease risk are related to the reproductive history of Ashkenazi Jews while simultaneously raising concerns about the consequences for future generations. More recent findings of supposedly “Ashkenazi” mutations in other apparently non-Jewish populations highlight the complexities when population and medical genetics intersect.

JessicaMozersky_picDr. Jessica Mozersky is a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research. She received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from University College London. Her book Risky Genes: Genetics, Breast Cancer, and Jewish Identity appeared with Routledge in 2012.

This talk is sponsored by Science, Technology and Society in affiliation with Jewish Studies, the Department of Biology, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Division, and co-promoted by the Department of Anthropology.
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Lecture: True Hermaphroditism? The Story of an Intersex Woman in Chile, 1929-1958

Kurt MacMillian, Lecturer, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Northern Arizona University

Date: Thursday, February 27
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Smith Room, Roberts

This lecture examines the history of a clinical case study of intersexuality in a woman that first appeared in Valparaíso, Chile in the early 1930s and later circulated to Spain and Germany. Crucial to the emergence of this case was the transnational circulation and Chilean reception of the work of Gregorio Marañón, a renowned Spanish clinician and intellectual who reached the apex of his scientific influence in the late 1920s for his account of “intersexual conditions” in humans. For the doctors treating the woman in Valparaíso, the determination of her “true sex” was part of a larger project to identify and document Marañón’s intersexual types in the Chilean populace while modernizing the sexual politics of the state. Marañón’s formulation of his concept of intersexuality and its reception in Chile were both facilitated by the work of the Latvian-Chilean physiologist Alexander Lipschütz, a distinguished professor at the University of Concepción in southern Chile who had previously collaborated with leading figures in sexual science such as Eugen Steinach and Magnus Hirschfeld. The implantation of Lipschütz at the University of Concepción from 1926 to 1936 connected Chile to transnational networks of sexual science that created the conditions of possibility for the woman’s diagnosis and the circulation of her case back to Europe. As a study of transnational networks in the history of science and the history of sexuality in Latin America, this lecture reveals multidirectional flows of scientific knowledge between Latin America and Europe.

Co-sponsored by  the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Latin American Studies Program, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

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STS Lecture

Confinement, Consumption, and Construction:  Tuberculosis and the Medicalization of Prison Infrastructure in the 19th Century

Dr. Margaret Charleroy, Research Associate, Minnesota Population Center

Charleroy Talk, Nov. 13Date: November 13
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bixler 150

The nineteenth century American prison was more than a place to confine social deviants; it was a place of care. The prison population boomed in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. This growth placed significant pressure on prison administration to grow the physical structure of the prison and strained its rehabilitative mission. The prison physician responded by seeking to understand the growing population as a distinctive whole with its own characteristics and personality. He adjusting both his care of individual inmates and the space in which he practiced. This is highlighted by the care of tubercular inmates at Minnesota State Prison in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using prison medical registers both quantitatively and qualitatively, I argue that to care for tubercular inmates, and prevent infection of healthy inmates, the physician at Minnesota State Prison established isolation wards for inmates with tuberculosis and experimented with forms of treatment that fit the prison’s physical limitation, making the prison a laboratory of medical practice.


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Pressing Issues: The History of Technology Meets Public Policy


Monday, October 7 – Wednesday, October 9 at Colby College

On October 7th to 9th the STS Program, with support from the Goldfarb Center, is hosting an international conference at Colby on technology and public policy.  This meeting, scheduled just before the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) in Portland, has attracted a dazzling array of leading scholars to Maine.

The keynote speaker Monday evening at 7 pm in Olin 01 is Professor Joel Tarr, the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History & Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  His talk will focus on the environmental impacts of energy transitions, past and present.  Dr. Tarr will discuss the manufactured gas industry, which existed in thousands of American cities for over a century, and present-day natural gas development — so-called hydrologic fracturing or “fracking” — in places like Pennsylvania, where he lives and works.

Sessions continue Tuesday morning on campus and move to the Maine Lakes Resource Center in Belgrade that afternoon and evening.  Participants will be treated to a lobster bake Wednesday and a choice of scenic or direct drives to Portland on Thursday.

The complete program is available at

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STS Banquet April 29, 2013


Seniors DSC_0108

Victoria, Ben, Neal, Eoin, Charlie, Matt, Nick, Dan, Kelly

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STS Senior Poster Session April 29 from 4-5:30 pm in Parker-Reed

Victoria Feng, Architecture and Behavior at Colby: How our built environment affects the way we learn and socialize

Ben Hannon, Development of a Standardized and Functional Tactical Emergency
Medical Support Training Program

Dan Hussey, What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup and What Does It Do?  It depends on
whom you ask.

Kelly Kneeland, Controlling the Maine Environment: Three Attempts to Alter the Natural World

Nick Kondiles, License and Regulation, Please: New Standards for the Practice of In
Vitro Fertilization

Neal Kopser, G.S. Callendar’s Following

Matt Lapine, Water Quality Monitoring Technology in Maine Communities: Where Human Understanding Meets Ecological Change

Eoin McCarron, Electromagnetic Disturbances  from Natural and Nuclear Sources:
History and Public Policy

Charlie Spatz, Building with Waste: Fly Ash in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Sarah Large. Clouds: Myth, History, and Science

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End of the Year Speaker, April 29 at 7 pm


History as Data Science: Using Computational Analysis to Explore the Archives of the National Security State

Professor Matthew Connelly, Department of History, Columbia University

Monday, April 29 at 7:00 pm in Parker-Reed Room, SSW

The scope of official secrecy is rapidly expanding. The sheer scale of the national security state, the growth of electronic media, and the power that still comes from compartmentalizing information means that the government is only releasing a tenth as many pages of classified information as it produces. Hundreds of millions of secret documents are piling up, raising doubts about how we will be able to reconstruct the past and ensure government accountability. But historians are now teaming up with data scientists to analyze the millions of documents that are being released. Since these were among the first official documents produced and stored on computers, we can use techniques like natural language processing and machine-learning. It may now be possible to make out the broad patterns of official secrecy, attribute authorship to anonymous documents, and perhaps even predict the content of redacted text. But the political and ethical questions remain: what does the public need to know, and when do they need to know it?

Matthew Connelly is professor of history at Columbia University. His publications include A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era (2002), and Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population (2008). He has written research articles in Comparative Studies in Society and History, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, The American Historical Review, The Revue francaise d’histoire d’Outre-mer, and Past & Present. He has also published commentary on international affairs in The Atlantic Monthly, The Wilson Quarterly, and The National Interest. He directs the University Seminar on Big Data and Digital Scholarship, the dual masters program with the LSE in International and World History, and the Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, a research program on the history and future of planetary threats. He received his B.A. from Columbia (1990) and his Ph.D. from Yale (1998).


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Thank You.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the bicentennial celebration. It was a wonderful day and we hope you had fun!

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STS event at Colby College

Friday, March 7 at 7:00 pm in Diamond 122

Anthropology talk of Interest: Body Tinkering and Moral Thinking in Experimental Transplant Science

Please join us to listen to Lesley Sharp speak about her experience as an anthropologist among bioengineers. The event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and will be in Diamond 122 on March 7th at 7pm.

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STS Bicentennial Scroll

STS is placing a commemorative scroll into the Bicentennial Time Capsule listing all advisory committee members, staff, founder’s awardees, and student names and thesis titles from 1813-2013.

The scroll will be on display Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 10 am at the STS poster table in either Pulver Pavilion or Page Commons where the current STS seniors will be discussing their work.IMPORTANT: There is space on the scroll for personal messages and signatures, so please stop by.

At 1:00, after the procession of departments and programs, STS students Nick Kondiles (’13), Syd Hammond (’14), and Sonia Vargas (’15) will present the scroll to the College and deposit it into the time capsule located in Page Commons.

The STS outing is at 5 pm to Mainely.

Hope you can join us.
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Event of Interest: Body Tinkering and Moral Thinking in Experimental Transplant Science

Please join us to listen to Lesley Sharp speak about her experience as an anthropologist among bioengineers. The event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and will be in Diamond 122 on March 7th at 7pm.

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STS Theses from 1813-2013

Take a look at work Colby STS students have done over the years here.

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Hana Haver ’11 was accepted by University of Massachusetts Medical School

Congratulations Hana!  She recently defended her MSc thesis on tuberculosis drug resistance at the National University of Singapore.  The drug she studied just received FDA approval for the treatment of patients with multiple drug-resistant TB.

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Fleming elected chair of AAAS section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering

Professor James R. Fleming (STS) was elected to chair the section on societal impacts of science and engineering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014-15. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society. Fleming chaired the AAAS section on history and philosophy of science 2006-09.

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Spring Course Selection

Spring course selection is now available. The STS classes that will be available in the spring are:

ST245 Science, Race and Gender, 4 Credits, Josephson.

ST261 Sociology of Organizations, 4 Credits, Archibald.

ST364 Environmental and Health History in Africa, 4 Credits, Webb.

ST486 Senior Project: The Craft of Research, 4 Credits, Fleming.

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Professor Fleming at Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Event

Professor Fleming spoke at the Geddes W. Simpson Lecture event at UMaine. Watch the entire lecture here:

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Congrats to our STSers who submitted to the OCS Photo Contest!

Charlie Spatz
First Place: Landscapes and Streetscapes
Ata Whenua Waterfall

Jayson Ito-Adler
Honorable Mention: Portraits
Getting a Good Angle

Honorable Mention: People and Society
Bull-fighting Through a Cultural Lens


Victoria Feng
Second Place: Portraits
A Happy Dane 

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Comedy Performance

Comedy Performance
Nov. 1 (Thurs.)
7 pm
Page Commons
Baratunde Thurston, Comedian, Author, Satirist,

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Hominid Foraging Behavior and Human Origins

For the PDF of the flyer: dominyflyer

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