Society & Technology Residential College

Explore the complex, two-way relationship between technology and society.

Learn how people — as individuals and as members of groups, organizations, and society as a whole — influence the development of science and technology as well as the consequences of technology for family, work, health and community. Read and reflect about topics that are not only interesting to talk about with friends but — given the importance of technology to all walks of life these days — could also put you on a promising career path that may not directly involve science or engineering.

Society & Technology College Student Staff

Megan Grossman, Resident Fellow

Megan Grossman, Resident Fellow

"Bucknell’s Residential Colleges foster a sense of community and academic growth. I am fortunate to be a member of SoTech, and it has been one of the highlights of my Bucknell experience thus far. Involvement has forged connections between technology and relevant social issues and has also introduced me to a group of eclectic yet similarly-minded students that make Bucknell a home away from home. The shared, fun, and meaningful activities are essential to the comprehensive residential experience and a sense of belonging. SoTech involvement has proven rewarding both academically and socially; I am an absolute believer in the merit of this incredibly impactful program!"

Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Major: chemical engineering

Nir Aish, Junior Fellow

Nir Aish, Junior Fellow

"One of the best decisions I made entering my first year was joining a Residential College. As the transfer to college life can be an overwhelming experience, being a part of a community that shares the same interests as you provides such a strong support system. Specifically, Society & Technology Residential College is formed by a group of individuals who want to get involved and are passionate about current occurrences. The unique thing about the SoTech theme is that it applies to a great variety of disciplines, attracting students of all majors, and by that creating a diverse set of perspectives on the hall."

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel
Major: managing for sustainability

Stephen Haberle, Junior Fellow

Stephen Haberle

"Being a member of the Society & Technology Residential College was nothing but a positive experience. I was able to meet people who had common interests to mine and bonded with them throughout the year. Both the common times and the trips were interesting, educational, and thought provoking. Being a member of SoTech made my first-year at Bucknell unforgettable and I made friends that I will keep for life."

Hometown:  Nazareth, PA
Major:  computer engineering

Pakawat Pamornsut, Junior Fellow

Pakawat Pamornsut, Junior Fellow

"Be prepared to step outside your comfort zone, meet unique individuals and have an open-mind. A Res College is only as special as the people who are in it and what you do once you're inside one."

Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Major: accounting and financial management

Society & Technology College Alumni

Society & Technology Residential College

Abby Borden '08

Abby Borden '08

"Borden is used to rubbing elbows with the stars. She's been working on the Grammy after-party for six years in a number of roles, and truth be told, she barely notices when stars like Madonna, Taylor Swift or Sam Smith come waltzing through the door."

Alumni Story: Abby Borden '08

Society & Technology Residential College

Nicole Kendrot '09

Nicole Kendrot '09

"They’re trying to wade through all the complexities, to figure out: How much do I owe? When do I owe it? How much am I going to owe? What do I do if I can’t afford these payments?"

Alumni Story: Nicole Kendrot '09

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

Course Details

  • Technology Equals Progress?
    Prof. Sally Koutsoliotas, physics & astronomy
    RESC 098 25 CRN: 19063
    Fulfills the following requirements:
    Writing Level 1

  • The Future is Now
    Prof. Jan Knoedler, economics
    RESC 098 23 CRN: 15817
    Fulfills the following requirements:
    Engineering Social Science, Writing Level 1
  • A World of Vanishing Borders
    Prof. Chris Magee, economics
    RESC 098 24 CRN: 18175
    Fulfills the following requirements:
    Writing Level 1
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Living with Dying in America
    Dr. John Colatch
    RESC 098 26 CRN: 19223
    Fulfills the following requirements:
    Writing Level 1

Technology Equals Progress?

Technology is often, unquestioningly, perceived as a measure of the advancement of a society. The advantages that it provides, from the eradication of diseases to the capabilities of mobile communication, cause us to embrace technology. It is seen as a powerful tool for solving problems and alleviating the chores of regular routines. But does technological advancement ensure universal benefits? Every new development is a consequence of choices made by the members of a society.

The goal of this course is to explore the inextricable connection between new technologies and the underlying values of the society developing them. We will examine current and historical examples to better appreciate the role of each.

The Future is Now

What is the future of the planet and the humans on that planet, and what role will technology play in creating that future? In this course, we will focus on a few key technologies that are rapidly changing our world. What is the future of parenthood in a world where technologies such as IVF and genetic engineering are becoming increasingly accessible to the masses? Will it be a future of genetically perfected children? What about other kinds of modification to human beings, digital and otherwise? What is the future of genetically engineered food? How are new communication tools changing our patterns of communication and ourselves? Is ‘24/7' technology threatening our privacy?

We will ask, more broadly, how and why are these technologies chosen by societies? Do we act — indeed, can we act — as individuals to control our destinies when technological change seems to threaten other human values, or do we need a collective solution? In other words, in a modern technological world, how much can we control our fates, either as individuals or as a society?

A World of Vanishing Borders

This course examines controversial issues that have arisen as the world becomes more integrated and as national borders become less of a barrier to the flow of goods, services, ideas, and cultures.

Technological progress and policy changes have both contributed to this globalization. We will discuss questions such as: Does international trade improve or harm the environment? How does immigration affect domestic welfare? Should Greece leave the euro area? Is military intervention in a foreign country justified by widespread human rights abuses? Is war likely between the great powers? Throughout the course we will look at both the economics and the politics of globalization.

Don't Fear the Reaper: Living with Dying in America

This class takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of how we as a society cope with death in America.

What are the cultural observances like, and how are they changing? We now have life-extending technologies, some whose benefits are unproven. Just because we can extend life, or more properly, delay death, should we? What are the implications of some of the dangerous ways that young adults socialize? Does a propensity for risky behavior necessarily indicate that the people who carry out such behavior are "death-welcomers?" Is there a sense of immortality among young adults that makes such behavior more acceptable? What are the ways that one's attitude towards medical ethics, social justice and religious/spiritual beliefs are informed by one's acceptance of, or fear of death? Can a healthy view of death and dying lead to a healthier outlook on life and an increased orientation towards holistic wellness? We will address these questions and many others and, believe it or not, have a really good time doing so!


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