Working Groups

Working groups are regular or ad hoc meetings of students and/or faculty.  These range from undergraduate groups with a general interest in STS, to faculty meetings specifically to discuss a narrow area of interest. Please explore our current groups below, and feel free to get in touch if you would like to join them.


Science Governance and Risk Futures

World Mechanism

This small group of scholars gathers on a regular basis to explore the legitimacy political collectives claim in governing scientific experimentation, not only when concerns of safety and security are readily seen, but also when those concerns are distant, ambiguous, and contentious. The Working Group discusses these and related questions in the context of two cutting-edge and emerging suites of technology where immediate risks of research are not significant, but where applications could pose serious societal, political and environmental hazards: synthetic biology and geoengineering. These technologies are chosen because issues of governance are immediately pressing, and because they will afford us some interesting comparative perspectives on technological governance more generally.

Visit the Working Group’s page for more information.

This working group is made possible through a grant from the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.


History of Science Working Group

LARRY_QUALLS_10311282033The OHST Working Group provides a forum for members to discuss ongoing research and other projects. The Working Group brings together graduate students, visiting scholars, and faculty for weekly discussions on history of science research. Possible topics include current OHST grad students’ dissertations; hot topics in the field, areas of interest that visiting scholars are working on, etc.



STS Working Group

Picture Credit: You Can't Lay Down by Tejo Remy, 1991

The STS* Working Group  is a group of scholars brought together by shared interest in STS practices and approaches. Our research interests cover topics in environment, technology, development, food, agriculture, and health.  The working group meets periodically to share and discuss works in progress and review key and novel papers in the field.  Members are encouraged to make as many meetings as possible, as the intent of the group is to develop a community of scholars with shared knowledge.

If you could like to join us, please sign up to our email list. This list is specific to the working group, and does not cover general STS announcements (which are sent here), or information about Center events and updates (which are here).

* Science, Technology, & Society or Science & Technology Studies. . . take your pick!


Science, Technology, & Engineering Policy Group

STEP is focused on creating better informed science and technology policy through collaborations between scientists and policy-makers.

Many of our most pressing public policy issues have a strong science and technology component, such as developing clean sources of energy and using information technology to reduce medical errors and administrative costs in our healthcare system. However, elected officials often lack the technical expertise to make informed decisions on these issues, and scientists and engineers rarely engage in the political process.

To address these needs, STEP is helping students build interdisciplinary skills at the intersection of science and policy. STEP works toward this goal through two activities: a monthly Seminar Series and a Science Policy Journal Club.

Find out more about STEP on its website.


Undergrad STS @ Berkeley Working Group

Course Thread logoMeeting weekly, the Undergrad STS group plans events for undergraduates interested in the connections that entangle science, medicine, technology and the social together. Our goal is to increase opportunities for undergraduate participation in research, curriculum and community.  Click here for more information.