James Fleming
Science, Technology & Society

 ST 112   Science, Technology, and Society

This course provided students with an introduction to the interactions of science, technology and society and serves as a gateway to further study in STS at Colby.

Learning Outcomes: This course is writing intensive, and taught with the support of Academic ITS and the Writer’s Center.  You will be a better writer at the end of the semester.  One objective of the course is to develop sensitivity to and an awareness of the pervasive influences of science and technology on our lives and in the world around us.  A second objective is to introduce disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of these influences, specifically by studying the history and social dimensions of particular issues, their scientific and technical aspects, and by debating the often-controversial ethical choices they present us.  A third objective is to develop skills in discussion, analysis, research, writing, and presentation in this interdisciplinary field.


Lectures, readings, discussion, weekly blog post “think pieces,” four critical essays, two poster presentations, and several extra credit guest speakers.  Students will engage in extensive revisions of their written work and will learn how to share their ideas using WordPress and in poster sessions.  Your input, through regular attendance, active discussion, and group participation, is crucial to making the course work.

Blogs and Essays

In your writing, you should focus on a particular topic, ask critical questions, present a clear theme or thesis, marshal supporting evidence and opinions, and provide clear and reasoned answers to your questions.  We will  be discussing three writing strategies: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos, all of which should find expression in your work.  Papers must be thoroughly documented using any major style. Your papers must demonstrate your engagement with a topic and represent your own opinions and conclusions, not just repeat those of others.  You will have the opportunity to revise each of these essays.  Here are some practical points:

• Give your blog or paper a snappy title.

• State the thesis in the first paragraph.

• Develop a thematic argument with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

• Develop your argument and give an example or two if appropriate.

• Focus on completed paragraph formation.

• Avoid generalities and avoid trying to accomplish too much in the space allotted.

• Develop your ability to express yourself verbally and in print.

• End with a strong, memorable conclusion.

• Spell-check, grammar-check, and idea-check your paper.

• Read your paper aloud to a friend and discuss it, then revise it before handing it in.

• The writing tutor reads and comments on your first draft.

• The professor reads and comments on your final draft, which is posted on the weblog.

• Be proud of your language skills: Clear thinking and clear writing go hand-in-hand.


A shortcut is an icon that be “clicked” to open an application or folder without having to “go find it” on your computer. The instructions below are for running an application, but the process is the same for opening a folder or a file.
Read more »

By default, the Dock sits at the bottom of the Mac display. The Dock was introduced in OS X and contains shortcuts to applications. As you move the cursor along the Dock, the icons will be magnified. You can relocate the Dock to the sides and you can set it to “autohide”. The size of the icons in the dock, and the amount of magnification when an icon is highlighted can also be adjusted.
Read more »

#1 Color Coding

Setting certain types of appointments in your calendar to a different color from your default calendar color can help organize and highlight specific events.

To set a single event to a different color:

  1. Double click on the event to open it
    Create a new event and “Edit Details”
  2. Under the even details tab, you will see the “Event color” selections.
    Click on the color you want and the event will be changed to that color in your calendar.

#2 Fifteen Minute Event Duration

 You can now set your default meeting time to as slow as 50 monutes.

To do this:

  1. Click on the Gear icon in the top right of the calendar screen and select “Calendar settings”
  2. Change the default meeting time to 15

#3 Appointment Slots

Sometimes it is convenient to reserve a period of time on your calendar that you allow others to schedule into…Student conferences for example.

To do this:

  1. Click on your calendar where you want to reserve time
  2. Click on “Appointment slots” at the top of the event dialog box

  3. The default duration of a slot is 30 minutes…but you can change that
  4. Click on the 30 opposite “Offer as slots of:”, a selection list will drop down – you can select another value here

  5. Click on “Edit details
  6. From this screen you designate what period of time to reserve

  7. This reservation is for 15 minutes slots from 8AM to 10AM on June 17
  8. Click “Save”. It will look like this on your calendar:

Stymied about how to get a PDF file you have created to automatically open at 100%? Got a file from a colleague that opens at 65% every time no matter what you do?

If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro Here is the fix:

  • Open the PDF file
  • Click on File > Properties
  • Click on the down arrow next to “Magnification”
  • Select the % value you want
  • Click OK
  • Click on File > Close
  • When asked, click on “Yes” you want to save changes

The document will now open in your selected % view

The legacy Quicktime streaming media service on the server named “Tourmaline” has been turned off. Academic ITS worked over the past year to identify and work with owners of media streamed by this service to migrate it to the replacement service (Adobe Flash Media Server) or convert it for non-streaming delivery when appropriate.

Because of the varied and ad-hoc manner in which the Tourmaline streaming service was used over the years, it is quite possible some media owners were not identified and some media was not converted or migrated. All media from Tourmaline is backed up and still available for migration or conversion if necessary. If you had media streamed from the service on Tourmaline that doesn’t work now, please contact me so we can help fix it.

Here are instructions for creating your own site:

Log in to http://web.colby.edu using your Colby user name and id.

You will see a screen–like the one pictured below, and should see your name displayed in the upper left.

Next, choose “Dashboard” and you will see a link that says ” your name’s blog”  i.e.–  “Ellen’s Blog.”  —click on this link to view your new blog/site.

You may need to create a post — to do this choose “add — new Post”

Here are instructions for adding a new post AND more about using WordPress:


A few notes about WordPress–

1) the privacy setting when a new site is created is “I would like only logged in Colby users to see my blog.”  This allows others at Colby to see, but not comment on your site.  You may view the privacy settings by going to: dashboard/settings/privacy

2) The url address for your new WordPress site will be something like this: http://web.colby.edu/yourcolbyid

If you already have a WordPress site or would like to have another WordPress site, please email Adam Nielsen or Ellen Freeman and a site will be created for you.

You may set up a time to come by Lovejoy for help creating a site OR for a quick introduction to WordPress.  Technical Training Student Tutors are also available extended hours in Lovejoy 144.  You may visit the Technical Training site at: http://web.colby.edu/acits/category/colby-technical-training/

For help contact: Ellen.Freeman@colby.edu or Adam Nielsen at anielsen@colby.edu