Centers and Research Groups


Center for the Study of Diversity in Science,Technology, and Medicine

The Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine was founded at MIT in June 2000 by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Professor Evelynn M. Hammonds envisioned a center that would pursue two primary goals. Scholars at the CSD examine both the impact of diversity on the theory and practice of science, medicine, and technology, and the contributions of racial and ethnic minorities to those fields. David S. Jones, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of the History and Culture of Science and Technology in STS, served as Principal Investigator for the Center from 2004-2008. For more information about CSD, see the CSD website.


The DeepArch Research Group, directed and founded by Professor David Mindell, is developing methodology for archaeological investigations in the deepest parts of the world’s oceans (to 6,000 meters deep) using advanced robotics and submersibles. Recent field work includes projects in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. The DeepArch Seminars — a series of seminars and colloquia which began in January 1998 and meet about four times a semester — are intended to bring together archaeologists, engineers, and oceanographers to discuss the future of archaeology in the deep ocean.

MIT Initiative on Technology and Self

The Initiative on Technology and Self, founded and directed by Professor Sherry Turkle, is dedicated to looking at the social and psychological dimensions of our increasingly intimate relationship with technology. The Initiative welcomes participants from the academic community as well as from journalism and industry. In addition to various workshops and conferences, the Initiative sponsored the popular "(Evocative) Objects" Seminars which focused on objects that cause people to think differently about self, other, intention, desire, emotion, the body.

Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group

Over the past decade and a half the Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group (formerly known as the Security Studies Program's Technical Working Group), led by Professor Ted Postol has established itself as the world's leading independent center for analysis of technical problems in the international security field. The Group has unrivaled expertise in nuclear weapons and their effects, sensor technologies, ballistic missiles, early warning systems, basing of nuclear forces, nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel cycle issues and how these technical matters shape the political, military and diplomatic dimensions of security. They have ongoing collaborations with technical groups and leading scholars in China, Russia, Germany, India, Israel and Pakistan — and also have extensive governmental and non-governmental contacts with individuals and organizations in the UK, France, and Norway. The Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group (STGS) believes that public policy is best influenced by sound, non-partisan analyses of the technical issues important to today’s security problems. STGS produces and encourages such analysis by conducting research on a number of specialized topics and by helping to build an international community of scientific scholars focused on this work.

Space, Policy and Society Research Group

The MIT Space, Policy, and Society research group, founded by Professor David Mindell, studies the social and policy issues related to human spaceflight. The multidisciplinary group brings together engineers, historians, astronauts and policy analysts from MIT and beyond, and includes faculty from STS, Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Engineering Systems Division and the Technology and Policy Program. The current focus is on the future direction of human spaceflight in a global context. The group holds a regular seminar series with guest speakers ranging from NASA administrators to space journalists. In a graduate-level class students research policy issues in human spaceflight. Given the critical policy questions that must be addressed in the next few years, including the decision to retire the space shuttle and return humans to the moon by 2020, the group published a white paper addressing the key issues and options for human spaceflight in the second decade of the 21st century.

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