Welcome to the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society

Science and technology matter

Science and technology affect how we understand our world, our societies, our economies, our bodies, and our minds. They affect what we believe and how we act. Indeed, science and technology matter so much, that many take them to be the defining institutions and preoccupations of our modern world. And with each passing day, their impact grows.

The Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar-Ilan University invites you to take part in an intellectual adventure, studying science and technology with rigor and creativity, from a perspective that incorporates many disciplines: history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, education, psychology, economics, critical theory, and more. While celebrating contemporary scientific and technological achievements as tributes to human ingenuity, we also appreciate the complex, ambivalent, and sometimes disruptive ways in which science, technology and society interact.

STS Colloquium Schedule

The lecture tells the story of pioneering efforts, among the first to be carried out in the Middle East, to precisely measure subjective phenomena such as attitudes, preferences, and feelings. It focuses on an American-led and designed survey-based study of troop morale, which took place among Jewish militia fighters in Jerusalem prior to and during the 1948 Palestine War. Using rare archival materials, memoirs, and reportage on life in the besieged city, I trace the difficulties involved in measuring individual attitudes
and laying claims for statistical certitude in a politically foreign and often hostile setting, and the kinds of adaptations they engendered.

Joining global historians of science who have rejected unidirectional narratives of cultural export and influence, I demonstrate that there was nothing inevitable or obvious about the eventual adoption of sample surveys as a way of knowing in military affairs. The institutionalization of this scientific practice in the nascent I...

Mental disorders often involve modifications in the way subjects attend to and
perceive other people. However, the nature of these changes and the way they unfold
in different types of pathologies are not sufficiently clear. This talk addresses these
issues from the perspective of phenomenological psychopathology. The primary goal
is to suggest a new way of distinguishing the oscillations of social attention in subjects
with mental disorders. This will be done by characterizing the experiential and
cognitive properties of a fully intact capacity for social attention. This model is then
used to typify alterations of social attention and perception in autism, schizophrenia,
borderline personality disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

During the past few years AI technology has made incredible progress
due to new ideas and methods in the theory of deep and recurrent neural
networks, reinforcement learning, Bayesian networks, genetic
computation, swarm intelligence and more. In the lecture I will try to
explain in simple words the basics underlying modern AI theory, to build
a map of the science of AI, to present some new ideas, and to review
some old philosophical questions.

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