Integrating STS into Bioethics and Medical Humanities Programs

Julia Knopes, Case Western Reserve University

Boston 2017: Pedagogy

This presentation will highlight the inclusion of STS perspectives within a new track program in Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University: entitled Medicine, Society & Culture (MSC). MSC encourages students to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the study of health and illness informed by the medical humanities and medical social sciences. Within this framework, an STS approach encourages students to think critically about the social construction of medical technologies and bioscientific knowledge. The presentation will focus on multiple ways that STS perspectives are being incorporated in the MSC program. The first are guest lectures on STS-related topics within existing core courses, including a graduate-level lecture on end-of-life technologies and ethics, and an undergraduate-level introduction to the social construction of medical devices. The second is a newly proposed survey course on “Medical Science and Technology Studies” for bioethics students. The third are STS-themed academic reading group meetings (entitled MSC Seminar.) Our fourth means of integrating STS perspectives into medical humanities and bioethics training is through graduate student tours of the Dittrick Museum of Medical History, emphasizing material cultures of medicine and the history of medical tools and devices. This presentation aims to demonstrate the value and position of STS in an era of expanding program and degree offerings in the medical humanities in the United States.

Published: 01/30/2023