Meet, Greet, Present, Plan

∼ Spring 2023 ∼

Monday, May 8, 12-1pm

Charles Library Even Space (1st floor, 1900 N 13th St) and online:

Making Families, Choosing Race: Sperm Banks and the Limits of Diversity

with Alyssa M. Newman, PhD, Georgetown University 

The widespread use of assisted reproductive technologies, coupled with demographic and social change, are normalizing new family configurations that extend beyond biological kinship. Despite the new populations and family formations utilizing these technologies, sperm donor selection is dominated by heteronormative logics and an interest in family resemblance achieved through racial matching. Yet the achievement of racial matching is hardly a given, as 70% of the sperm donors at banks across the United States are white. This talk will interrogate the racialized meanings assigned to donor sperm, drawing on interviews with interracial lesbian couples who encountered difficulties finding a donor of their desired racial background. This talk will also explore the sperm banks’ “diversity problem,” examining how, despite the fertility industry’s quick embrace of diversifying family formations including queer clients and intended parents of color, it continues to center around the reproduction of the white family. In a context of increasing state control over reproduction, the rise of both regulated as well as unregulated sperm markets raises the question of who is being served, or controlled, in the presence or absence of state intervention and policy.

Monday, March 13, 12-1pm


Charles Library Even Space (1st floor, 1900 N 13th St) and online:

The Industrialization of the Deep Ocean: Can we avoid the Tragedy of the Commons on the High Seas?

with Prof. Erik Cordes, Department of Biology 

As we struggle to move beyond fossil fuels and avoid the most catastrophic outcomes of global climate change scenarios, we are increasingly turning to the ocean and the emerging Blue Economy for solutions. Our fisheries are moving into deeper waters further offshore, we are drilling for oil and gas in places that were thought impossible a few years ago, and emerging industries like deep-sea mining and marine genetic resources are looking to international waters as a way to avoid the regulations and expense of working with the exclusive economic zones of nation-states. Currently, there are negotiations underway at the UN to govern these activities, which range from the designation of the management entity to the methodology for determining environmental impacts. Among these consideration is the proper valuation of ecosystem services and the creation of a global fund that would contain the dividends from the extraction of natural resources. Because these considerations are happening at a global scale, beyond areas of national jurisdiction, we have an opportunity to consider some new(ish) ideas related to ownership, nature’s rights, and a global universal income. Time will tell whether any of these creative ideas gain traction in this forum.

Monday, February 13, 12-1pm


Charles Library Even Space (1st floor, 1900 N 13th St) and online:

A discussion of the partisanization of science.

Prof. Bruce Hardy

(Dept. of Communication and Social Influence, Klein College of Media and Communication)

There exists a narrative in the United States that Democrats are pro-science and Republicans are anti-science. This narrative was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Such partisanization of science is detrimental to the norms of science, the scientific enterprise, the legitimacy of scientists and experts, and may foster public perceptions that science is owned by a political party. Partisanization of science breeds misinformation and reinforces ingroup/outgroup divisions. Bruce Hardy will discuss how we got here, what science communication and STS scholars can do about it, and what to expect in the future.

Monday, January 30, 12-1pm

Charles Library Even Space (1900 N 13th St) and online:

The end of the college essay?

Adapting to ChatGPT and AI in the classroom.


    Dr. Eduard Dragut (Computer & Information Sciences)

    Dr. Amy L. Friedman (English, First Year Writing)

    Dr. Ryan Omizo (English)

    John Allard (PhD student, Bioinformatics)

    ChatGPT (OpenAI)

Moderated by:

    Dr. Mohammad F. Kiani (Mechanical Engineering)

    Dr. Rob J. Kulathinal (Biology)

∼ Fall 2022 ∼

Monday, December 12, 12-1pm

Charles Library Room 364 (1900 N 13th St) and online:

Discussion with Asta Zelenkauskaitė, author of:

“Creating Chaos Online: Disinformation and Subverted Post-Publics”

With the prevalence of disinformation geared to instill doubt rather than clarity, Creating Chaos Online unmasks disinformation when it attempts to pass as deliberation in the public sphere and distorts the democratic processes. Asta Zelenkauskaitė finds that repeated tropes justifying Russian trolling were found to circulate across not only all analyzed media platforms’ comments but also across two analyzed sociopolitical contexts suggesting the orchestrated efforts behind messaging. Through a dystopian vision of publics that are expected to navigate in the sea of uncertain both authentic and orchestrated content, pushed by human and nonhuman actors, Creating Chaos Online offers a concept of post-publics. The idea of post-publics is reflected within the continuum of treatment of public, counter public, and anti-public. This book argues that affect-instilled arguments used in public deliberation in times of uncertainty, along with whataboutism constitute a playbook for chaos online.

Monday, November 14, 12-1pm


Charles library First Floor Event Space or online


STS NOW! – Conversations in Science, Technology, Society

Andrew Spence (Engineering)

 Neuromachanics, Neurogenetics, and Spinal Cord Injury:


Uncovering the mechanisms of movement and how they may help us improve recovery from a paralyzing injury. 

Movement is key to health and quality of life. Yet our understanding of the principles we use to control our bodies and the clever mechanisms that have evolved to get us around are far from complete. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of people in the US alone are living with spinal cord injuries, reducing their quality of life, with few treatments available. This talk will present work seeking to understand how we control our movement, asking why legged locomotion tends to look like bouncing over a pogo stick. It will then move into more recent work that seeks to understand how forms of spinal cord stimulation help improve recovery from a spinal cord injury, employing new genetic tools that allow for ever more sophisticated manipulation and tracing of neural networks.

Monday, October 10, 12-1pm

Charles library First Floor Event Space or

STS NOW! – Conversations in Science, Technology, Society

Todd Schifeling (Fox)

Divest, Delay, or Distract: Managing Conflicting Stakeholders amid Industry Disruption 

While managers prefer to integrate the interests of multiple stakeholders, these groups often have conflicting goals. Industry disruptions intensify these conflicts, with some stakeholders favoring the status quo and others encouraging change. We investigate how managers balance conflicting stakeholders under such duress. Using the context of the U.S. electricity industry from 2008-2015, we find that inertial and activist stakeholders influence the divestment of coal generators in opposite directions. Further, by disentangling divestment announcements from implementation and considering the additional outcome of solar investments, we show how managers use strategic delay and distraction to mollify activists, while also benefitting inertial stakeholders.




Andrew Spence (Bioengineering)

Monday, December 12, 12-1pm


Monday, September 12, 12-1pm

STS NOW! – Conversations in Science, Technology, Society

Brian Hutler (Philosophy) – Health Disparities and Indirect Discrimination: Two Puzzles, One Solution

Hybrid Event: Charles Library 364 and

Health disparities, especially racial and ethnic health disparities, are often unjust. But what makes these health disparities unjust? Theorists typically explain this injustice by pointing to some other injustice that either causes, or is caused by, the health disparities. But I will argue that these “causal” accounts of the injustice are incomplete and that we should look for an alternative account. Similarly, theorists struggle to explain the apparent “wrongness” of indirect discrimination in healthcare, e.g., when a hospital’s policies negatively impact protected groups but are not motivated by racism or other forms of animus. In this talk, I will argue that both of these theoretical puzzles admit of a single solution: Both the injustice of health disparities and the wrongness of indirect discrimination in healthcare can be explained by appeal to the right to health. According to the conception of the right to health that I will propose, both reflect failures on the part of relevant duty-bearers to fulfill the obligations they have to relevant rights-holders. I will argue, in conclusion, that the ability to resolve this pair of theoretical puzzles lends support to the conception of the right to health proposed here.

∼ Spring 2022 ∼

Monday, April 25, 12:15-1:45pm

STS NOW! – Conversations in Science, Technology, Society

Hybrid Event: Charles Library 364 and

Veronica Jacome (GUS)

Constructing “Bad” Electrical Users: Centralized Electricity Supply in the Early US Grid and Discourses of Development

Brian Tuohy (Katz)

Health Without Papers: Immigration, Citizenship, and Healthcare in the 21st Century

Friday, April 1, 3:00pm (2:30 refreshments)

BioLife Sciences Building, Room 234, and online at

The Maternal Imprint: The Contested Science of Maternal-Fetal Effects

Sarah S. Richardson (History of Science and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard)

Monday, February 21, 12:15-1:45pm

STS NOW! – Conversations in Science, Technology, Society

Erica Golemis (Fox Chase) – Capacity Building: Building a Department of Cancer Biology Linked to a Cancer Center; balancing multiple value systems while defining success


Lauren Olsen (Sociology) – Disciplining Docility: How Medical Educators use the Humanities to Maintain the Professional Status Quo

STS NOW Flier Feb 21

Monday, January 24, 12:15-1:45pm

A Discussion of Our Favorite Works by Robert K. Merton

Panelists: Tom Waidzunas (Sociology), Meghnaa Tallapragada (Advertising and Public Relations), Bruce Hardy (Communication and Social Influence), David Elesh (Sociology, Emeritus)

Merton Event Poster

Merton Readings:

Merton, 1938.  Science, Technology, and Society in Seventeenth Century England

Merton, 1942.  The Normative Structure of Science

Lazarsfeld and Merton, 1948.  Mass Communication, Popular Taste, and Organized Social Action

Merton, 1957.  The Role-Set_Problems in Sociological Theory

∼ Fall 2021 ∼

Hybrid meetings:
both in Charles Library, room 364 (enter room 375, turn left, then right around the corner)… and at

Monday, December 13, 12:15-1:45pm

Making the Invisible, Visible: Reimagining Scientific Discovery

Rebecca Kamen (Artist in residence, The Computational Neuroscience Initiative, UPenn)


Monday, November 8, 12:15-1:45pm

Societal Impacts of Nuclear Energy: An Introduction to STS

Jim Napolitano (Physics) and Tom Waidzunas (Sociology)

Monday, October 11, 12:15-1:45pm

Working Maintenance and Repair into Science and Technology Studies

Eli Alshanetsky (Philosophy) and Juris Milestone (Anthropology)

Monday, September 13, 12:15-1:45pm

A Conversation on Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Miriam Solomon (Philosophy) and Tom Waidzunas (Sociology)

∼ Spring 2021 ∼

Monday, April 12 via Zoom

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can improve all aspects of our lives… Could it also replace us?

Slobodan Vucetic, Center for Hybrid Intelligence, Temple University
Richard Souvenir, CIS, Temple University
Bora Ozkan, Finance, Temple University
Cory Ng, Accounting, Temple University

W. Geoffrey Wright, Neuromotor Sciences, Temple University
Bertand Guillotin, Strategic Management, Temple University

Friday, March 5 via Zoom

With Global Studies, Temple Libraries, CHAT, and the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio

Modeling the Mind: From Buddhism to Artificial General Intelligence

Joscha Bach, AI Foundation, San Fransisco
Marcus Bingenheimer, Religion, Temple University
Pei Wang, Computer and Informational Sciences, Temple University
Simon Wiles, Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research, Stanford University

Monday, February 8 via Zoom

Engineering Climate Change: Building LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms and workplaces in STEM

Stephanie Farrell, College of Engineering, Rowan University

∼ Fall 2020 ∼

Monday, December 14 via Zoom

Interdisciplinarity in the RCM era: Proposing a new undergraduate degree in Science, Technology, & Society

Jim Napolitano (Physics, College of Science and Technology, Temple University)

Monday, November 9 via Zoom

A panel discussion on gene drive: On the fate of species via genetic manipulation


Virginie Courtier-Orgogozo (Institut Jacques Monod, University of Paris)

Darius Balciunas (Biology, Temple university)

Miriam Solomon (Philosophy, Temple University)

Bruce Hardy (Communication & Social Influence, Temple University)


Rob Kulathinal (Biology, Temple University)

Monday, September 14 via Zoom

Susan Lindee (History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania)

“Creating the Galapagos Field Station at Santa Cruz, 1950-1970”

Monday, October 12 via Zoom

Nancy Campbell (Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Workshop: Designing an Undergraduate Major in STS

∼ Spring 2020 ∼

Wednesday, April  15

Virtual chat with the STSN@TU at the Center for Humanities

Monday, February 10

Gwen Ottinger (Center for Science, Technology and Society, Drexel University)

Charles Library

∼ Fall 2019 ∼

Monday, December 9

Justin Brody (Center for Data, Mathematical, & Computational Sciences, Goucher College) Machine Consciousness as a Pathway to Artificial General Intelligence

Charles Library

Monday, November 18

Allison Hayes-Conroy  (GUS) Building a Bio3Science Research and Training Network

Monday, October 14

 Juris Milestone (Anthropology) Disrupting Innovation’s Domination

Monday, September 9

Miriam Solomon (Philosophy) Evidence and Values in the DSM 5.X

Marcus Bingenheimer (Religion) and Rob Kulathinal (Biology) Sutra2DNA

∼ Spring 2019 ∼

Tuesday, April 30

Open Planning Meeting

Monday, April 15

Tom Waidzunas (Sociology) NSF LGBT Safe Zone Initiative

Monday, March 18

Aunshul Rege (Criminal Justice) – Proactive Cybersecurity & human behavior

Sue Wells (English) – Robert Burton, Medicine, & Early Modern Practices of Knowledge

Monday, February 18

Andrew Iliadis (Media Studies) – Semantic and embodied computing

Jess Newman (Anthropology) – Medical Anthropology

Monday, January 14

Planning Meeting

∼ Fall 2018 ∼

Monday, December 10th

Planning meeting

Monday, November 12th

Allison Hayes-Conroy, Carol Brandt, and Rob Kulathinal will present their ideas for a grant proposal

Miriam Solomon will present some ideas from her work on consensus in psychiatry

Monday, October 15th

Round Table on “Sokal Squared” controversy

Jim Napolitano (Physics) on bias in scientific discovery

Monday, September 17th

Steven Epstein, Northwestern University

∼ Summer 2018 ∼

Interdisciplinary Grants Meetup
Friday, June 15th

∼ Spring 2018 ∼

Monday, May 7th

Ralph Horwitz, Katz School of Medicine

“Medicine-Based Evidence”

Monday, April 16th

Marcus Bingenheimer, Religion

“Chinese Buddhist History as Network(s) – On the use of historical social network analysis in the study of Chinese Buddhism”

Rita Krueger, History

“Medical Authority in the Age of Smallpox: Knowledge Networks in Central Europe”

Monday, March 19th

Miriam Solomon, Philosophy – “Epistemic Collusion in Stem Cell Clinics”

Tom Waidzunas, Sociology – recent work on LGBT scientists

Monday, February 19th

Byron Wolfe, Photography

∼ Fall 2017 ∼

Monday, November 27th

Roderick Coover, Film and Media Arts and Guntram Werther, Fox

Monday, October 30th

Allison Hayes-Conroy, GUS, Rob Kulathinal, Biology, and Carol Brandt, Education 

The Bio-Social Partnerships graduate studio promotes collaboration and transdisciplinary research training across life sciences and social sciences, using the human body as a boundary object to bridge these domains.

Monday, October 2nd

Tania Jenkins, Sociology and Tom Waidzunas, Sociology

Tania Jenkins presented work coauthored with Susan Short (Brown University) that uses intersex as a case for theorizing the role of resistance in the sociology of diagnosis.