Faculty

Bill Best, director of science, technology and society, mechanical engineering and mechanics

Bill Best is Professor of Practice of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, and he is the Co-Director of IDEAS: Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences. His scholarly interests include Technological Catastrophes, Ethical Issues in Engineering and the Social Implications of Technology.  Specifically he focuses his attention on the 'Public Inquiry Process' in 20th-Century Britain as it pertained to the social, political, and technological response to building collapses and railway disasters.  He is also interested in the engineering ethics of medical technology as well as technology in literature and popular culture.

Gail Cooper, history

Gail Cooper teaches in the History Department, offering courses in the history of technology in modern America and Japan. Her interests include the relationship of gender and engineering professionalism, the transfer of technology between different cultures, the impact of government and military funding on technological development, and the ways in which technology is incorporated into our modern consumer culture.

She is the author of the book, Air-conditioning America (Johns Hopkins, 1998), and the article, “Love, War, and Chocolate: Gender and the American Candy Industry, 1890-1930,” in His and Hers: Gender Consumption, and Technology, Roger Horowitz and Arwen Mohun, eds. (University Press of Virginia, 1998). Her current research focuses on the development of statistical quality control in manufacturing in the United States and Japan.

Stephen H. Cutcliffe, history, emeritus

Stephen H. Cutcliffe is a historian of technology and has been affiliated with the STS Program at Lehigh University since 1976. Currently he serves as program director. He is also the Editor of the Science, Technology & Society Curriculum Newsletter, published under the auspices of the STS Program since 1977.

Dr. Cutcliffe is the author of several books including Ideas, Machines, and Values: An Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society Studies (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). He also co-edited with Robert C. Post the book In Context: History and the History of Technology--Essays in Honor of Melvin Kranzberg (Bethlehem, Pa.: Lehigh University Press, 1989, and with Carl Mitcham, the book Visions of STS : Counterpoints in Science, Technology, and Society Studies (Albany: SUNY Press, 2001).

His current research interests include the historical intersection between technological change and the environment. Cutcliffe teaches the introductory gateway course for the STS Program and the senior year seminars for STS majors. He also teaches courses in American environmental history.

Sharon M. Friedman, journalism

Sharon M. Friedman is Professor of Journalism and Communication and Director of the Science and Environmental Writing Program at Lehigh. She has taught in the STS program for more than 20 years and two of her courses are cross-listed, providing students with credit in either journalism or STS. A member of the STS Advisory Board since its early years, she also directs a closely related program, Lehigh's interdisciplinary Environment and Society Program. Friedman served as Chairperson of the Department of Journalism and Communication from 1986 to 1995 and held an endowed Iacocca Professorship at Lehigh from 1992 to 2000. Her research focuses on how scientific, environmental and health issues are communicated to the public, particularly by the mass media. Friedman has conducted research on mass media coverage of such issues as the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, Alar, radon, dioxin and electromagnetic fields. She currently is studying the influences of the Internet on science, health and environmental communication.

Steven L. Goldman, philosophy

Steven L. Goldman is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor in the Humanities with a joint appointment in the Philosophy and History Departments. He teaches a variety of courses in the philosophy of science and technology and in the history of science, as well as STS courses on technology and society relationships, which is the focus of his current research. He was for eleven years Director of the STS Program and serves on its Advisory Board, and was a co-founder of Lehigh University Press.

John Kenly Smith, history

John Kenly Smith, Jr. teaches courses in the history of technology from American and World perspectives. His research interests include innovation in modern technology. Within that broader area, he specializes in R&D and chemical technologies. He is the author, with David A. Hounshell, of Science and Corporate Stratetgy: DuPont R&D, 1902-1980, which won the Newcomen Prize in Business History in 1992. He has written many articles on technological innovation and on the chemical industry. Currently, he is working on the history of gasoline.

Albert H. Wurth, political science

Al Wurth is a member of the Department of Political Science where he teaches courses in American public policy and political economy. His teaching and research emphasizes environmental and technological topics, especially the issue of 'spawl' and its relationship to the notion of sustainable communities. He serves as a member of numerous steering and advisory groups for state and local organizations, including Clean Water Action and the Sierra Club.