The field of Science and Technology Studies, or STS, is an emergent, transdisciplinary domain of scholarship and practice focused on science and technology as human and social enterprises. Just as economics seeks to understand markets and political science seeks to understand government, STS seeks to understand the social and institutional dynamics of science and technology and their roles and position in larger patterns of human affairs.
Within STS, edited collections of transdisciplinary scholarship have always occupied a critical juncture in the field’s ability to build a collective identity and conversation among its many engaged communities. The Handbook series, in particular, managed by the Society for Social Studies of Science, one of the field’s central professional societies, has drawn together an extensive array of research syntheses with an eye toward defining, or perhaps better, mapping the major intellectual geographies of the field.
In this, the third official volume of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (there was an earlier synthetic volume, as well, in the field’s earliest days), we continue this tradition, while also expanding on it. Our aim is to continue to highlight key emerging terrains and major intellectual problems within the field, while also placing a new emphasis on defining the relevance of the field for other disciplines and for tackling the deep and widespread challenges confronting humanity in the 21st century.