Science in Human Culture

The Science in Human Culture Program prepares students to confront the global impact of science, medicine, and technology on society—and on their own lives. The adjunct major and the minor welcome humanities, social science, and science majors, including premedical students, wishing to surmount modern science’s compartmentalization of knowledge. Courses bridge the sciences and the humanities and seek to foster critical thinking about the limits, authority, and impact of science, a mode of understanding and intervening that is often said to be the defining feature of modern culture.

For an up-to-date listing of courses and more information about the adjunct major and minor, consult the program website. Questions may be directed to the program administrator at

Themes and Eligible Courses

Some of the themes adopted by students have included medicine and society; science, environment, and society; technology and social change; science and gender; religion and scientific knowledge; and philosophy of science. For example, students interested in medicine and society might explore the interaction of medical knowledge and practice, medical ethics, and the boundaries between sickness and health. Topics addressed might include the authority of the physician, the role of the hospital, the social dimensions of racial and gender differences, and the changing conception of disease and healing.

Eligible courses include (when offered) the list below. Many other eligible courses are offered periodically and appear in the online quarterly class list posted on the program website.


Course Title
ANTHRO 315-0Medical Anthropology
ANTHRO 332-0The Anthropology of Reproduction
ANTHRO 334-0The Anthropology of HIV/AIDS: Ethnographies
ANTHRO 343-0Anthropology of Race
ANTHRO 383-0Environmental Anthropology

Communication Studies

Course Title
COMM_ST 227-0Communication & Technology
COMM_ST 246-0Intro to Health Communication
COMM_ST 343-0Advanced Health Communication
COMM_ST 351-0Technology & Human Interaction
COMM_ST 353-0Collaboration Technology
COMM_ST 378-0Online Communities and Crowds
COMM_ST 383-0Media, Communication, and Environment
COMM_ST 386-0Science, Technology, and Society
COMM_ST 388-0Internet and Society


Course Title
ECON 307-0Economics of Medical Care
ECON 318-0History of Economic Thought
ECON 323-1Economic History of the United States Before 1865
ECON 323-2Economic History of the United States 1865 to Present

Environmental Policy and Culture

Course Title
ENVR_POL 211-0Food and Society: An Introduction
ENVR_POL 212-0Environment and Society
ENVR_POL 261-0American Religion, Ecology and Culture
ENVR_POL 309-0American Environmental History
ENVR_POL 311-0Food, Politics and Society
ENVR_POL 312-0Social Change and the Environment
ENVR_POL 336-0The Climate Crisis, Policies, and Society
ENVR_POL 340-0Global Environments and World History
ENVR_POL 356-0Native Americans and Environmental Decision Making

Global Health

Course Title
GBL_HLTH 201-0Introduction to Global Health
GBL_HLTH 302-0Global Bioethics
GBL_HLTH 306-0Biomedicine and Culture
GBL_HLTH 307-0International Perspectives on Mental Health
GBL_HLTH 308-0Global Health in Human History
GBL_HLTH 309-0Biomedicine and World History

Gender Studies

Course Title
GNDR_ST 232-0Sexuality & Society
GNDR_ST 250-0Gender Issues in Science and Health
GNDR_ST 332-0Gender, Sexuality, and Health
GNDR_ST 374-0Gender, Sexuality, and Digital Technologies


Course Title
HISTORY 251-0The Politics of Disaster: A Global Environmental History
HISTORY 275-1History of Early Modern Science and Medicine
HISTORY 275-2History of Modern Science and Medicine
HISTORY 325-0History of American Technology
HISTORY 376-0Global Environments and World History
HISTORY 378-0History of Law and Science
HISTORY 379-0Biomedicine and World History


Course Title
HUM 220-0Health, Biomedicine, Culture, and Society


Course Title
JOUR 383-0Health and Science Reporting


Course Title
PHIL 151-0Scientific Reasoning
PHIL 254-0Introduction to Philosophy of the Natural Sciences
PHIL 268-0Ethics and the Environment
PHIL 269-0Bioethics
PHIL 270-0Climate Change and Sustainability: Economic and Ethical Dimensions
PHIL 326-0Topics in Philosophy of Medicine
PHIL 352-0Philosophy of Mathematics
PHIL 355-0Scientific Method in the Social Sciences

Political Science

Course Title
POLI_SCI 329-0U.S. Environmental Politics
POLI_SCI 349-0International Environmental Politics


Course Title
PSYCH 248-0Health Psychology
PSYCH 340-0Psychology and Law
PSYCH 356-0Native Americans and Environmental Decision Making

Religious Studies

Course Title
RELIGION 173-0Religion, Medicine & Suffering in the West
RELIGION 373-0Religion and Bioethics


Course Title
SOCIOL 211-0Food and Society: An Introduction
SOCIOL 212-0Environment and Society
SOCIOL 220-0Health, Biomedicine, Culture, and Society
SOCIOL 232-0Sexuality and Society
SOCIOL 305-0Population Dynamics
SOCIOL 311-0Food, Politics and Society
SOCIOL 312-0Social Change and the Environment
SOCIOL 319-0Sociology of Science
SOCIOL 321-0Numbers, Identity & Modernity: How Calculation Shapes Who We Are & What We Know
SOCIOL 336-0The Climate Crisis, Policies, and Society
SOCIOL 355-0Medical Sociology

SHC 115-6 First-Year Seminar (1 Unit)   WCAS First-Year Seminar

SHC 398-1 Science in Human Culture Senior Seminar (1 Unit)   For students who wish to qualify for honors by writing a senior thesis.

SHC 398-2 Science in Human Culture Senior Seminar (1 Unit)   For students who wish to qualify for honors by writing a senior thesis.

SHC 398-3 Science in Human Culture Senior Seminar (1 Unit)   For students who wish to qualify for honors by writing a senior thesis.