Georgia Tech School of History, Technology & Society Re-Names Graduate Degrees

The School of History, Technology and Society (HTS) at Georgia Tech has changed the name of its graduate program and graduate degrees from "History of Technology" to "History and Sociology of Technology and Science," to more accurately reflect the breadth of the program and its considerable strengths in sociology and the study of science.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recently approved changing the names of the Master's and Doctoral degrees to Master of Science in History and Sociology of Technology and Science and Doctor of Philosophy with a major in History and Sociology of Technology and Science. The first students will graduate with the new degree names this spring.

"We are pleased that the name change has been approved," said Andrea Tone, professor and director of Graduate Studies, HTS. "Our graduate program is one of the best in the country, and we feel this change will help us attract even stronger students. One student has already selected the sociology track, and we expect this number to grow."

"When I became chair of the School in 2001, I realized that the School's intellectual strength in sociology and science was not readily apparent to potential students and faculty," said Willie Pearson, Jr., chair and professor, HTS. "I felt it was important to change the name in order for the program to grow the way it deserved."

For years the school's faculty was composed primarily of historians, reflecting the legacy of former school chair and professor Mel Kranzberg, founder of the Society for the History of Technology and widely regarded as the founder of the History of Technology discipline. In recent years, the school has consciously added more faculty with sociology backgrounds including such notable additions as Mary Frank Fox, gender; Willie Pearson, Jr., science and family; and Sue Rosser, women and science and women's health. Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Pennsylvania offer similar hybrid programs in history and sociology.

HTS launched its graduate program in 1992. The medium-sized graduate program serves approximately 21 full-time graduate students. A few of the topics that current students are researching includes the role of radio technology in the Cold War, sociology of cancer research, women in architectural space, economic development in biotechnology, and history of the printing industry.