Women, Science, and Technology Minor

The Women, Science, and Technology (WST) minor is sponsored by the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts schools of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC), History and Sociology (HSOC), and Public Policy and includes courses from all Ivan Allen units. The WST minor, Georgia Tech's first joint minor program, was developed in 1995 by Mary Frank Fox, Steven Vallas, Anne Balsamo, and Carol Colatrella. The WST minor program is the only women's studies curriculum focusing on the study of gender, science, and technology. In 1996 the minor was awarded a grant from the Georgia Tech Foundation, which provided funds for student research partnerships with WST minor faculty. The WST minor was converted from a quarter program to a semester program in 1997 by co-coordinators Mary Frank Fox and Carol Colatrella. In 2005 the program expanded to include coursework in modern languages, economics, and international affairs.

The Women, Science, and Technology (WST) program does what no other gender studies program does: it links science and technology issues to those issues more traditionally associated with women's studies. The WST minor prepares Tech students (women and men majoring in engineering, science, social sciences, and humanities) to live and work in an increasingly diverse world. The minor helps students develop their understanding of the human side of science and engineering involving not only gender issues, but inequalities of race and class as well.

WST courses reflect on the theoretical and practical dimensions of diversity. Students are encouraged to explore the values associated with scientific culture and to learn to synthesize knowledge across the disciplines, while viewing science and engineering as social and cultural forces that shape relations among women and men.

For more information regarding the WST minor, visit the WST Minor Page in the Georgia Tech Course Catalog.

Who Minors in WST?

  • Students in science, engineering, social science and the humanities–whether women or men–who are interested in the connections among gender, science, and technology.
  • Students who seek to develop their understanding of the diverse human face of science and engineering, involving not only gender issues, but race, class, and national origins as well.

Students may register and plan their course of study for the WST minor by meeting with a coordinator, either Dr. Carol Colatrella or Dr. Mary Frank Fox.

Why WST?

  • Theory

    WST encourages students to think about values associated with scientific culture, to reflect upon the diverse human side of science and technology, and to deal with social factors affecting participation and performance in scientific and technical occupations and institutions.

  • Practice

    In a practical sense, the WST program prepares students to understand factors such as current work and professional environments, to become equipped to deal with them, and to assume leadership roles toward improved participation among women and men in science and technology. The implications of WST are significant for women who will work in science and engineering; for men and women who will work together in these fields; and for others who need and want to learn about connections between gender, science, and technology.

  • Topics and Issues

    Sample topics covered in WST Courses:

    • Women in the history of science and technology
    • Organizational influences affecting the participation of women in scientific and technological careers
    • Gender issues in professions
    • Women and the organization and management of science and technology
    • The gendered impact of scientific and technological policy
    • Feminist perspectives on science and technology
    • Cultural analyses of gender, race, and class factors in the practice of science and technology