Health, Science, and Society
Health, science, and society is a cluster of undergraduate and graduate courses, programs, and events that addresses the meaning of health and illness, advocacy for health and health care, and structures of medical and scientific knowledge. Courses and events are multidisciplinary, bringing together perspectives from the humanities, creative arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. Undergraduate students who are interested in health, science, and society are encouraged to take courses across the curriculum and to design interdisciplinary conference projects.
Over the past 25 years, as health and disease have been examined from social, economic, political, and historical perspectives, there has been an increased awareness of the ways in which definitions of disease are framed in relation to the values, social structures, and bases of knowledge of particular communities. Globalization has required us to understand health and disease as crucial international issues, and environmental health is increasingly seen to be a matter of policy that has significantly differential effects on different populations. Public talks and events are regularly scheduled to bring together undergraduate and graduate faculty and students to consider these questions of health, medicine, and scientific knowledge from a broad variety of perspectives.
This focus of study may be of interest to students interested in the health professions, including premed, nursing, or allied professions such as physical therapy, allowing them to combine courses in the natural sciences with explorations of the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Similarly, students in the arts and humanities who are interested in health and illness may find that incorporating science and social science into their educational program enables them to achieve a greater depth of understanding and expression in their work.
The health, science, and society program offers undergraduate students the unique opportunity to take advantage of Sarah Lawrence College’s nationally recognized graduate master’s programs in Human Genetics and Health Advocacy, both the first such graduate programs offered in the country. Events and programs are also coordinated with the graduate programs in Art of Teaching and Child Development and in collaboration with the Child Development Institute.