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5th Undergraduate Research Conference on Science, Technology, Medicine and Society: Home

This is a library guide to accompany this Spring 2021 conference.

ATTENTION: Conference To Be Held Online April 7-10, 2021

The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program at Vassar College would like to invite undergraduate students to participate in the Fifth National Undergraduate Research Conference on Science, Technology, Medicine and Society. The STMS Conference is an opportunity for undergraduates from across divisions to present their research on myriad topics related to the intersections of science, technology, medicine, and society. 

Due to the pandemic, this year’s conference will be held remotely, April 9–10, 2021.

Conference panels, consisting of undergraduate student presenters, will be moderated by faculty members and run on April 9th and 10th. In addition, Vassar is delighted to announce that Jennifer Brea will be the keynote speaker for the STMS Conference.

Vassar’s STS Program looks forward to hosting this year’s STMS Conference and to holding space during this busy and tumultuous time for catalytic STS discourse.


Keynote Speaker Bio:

Jennifer Brea is an independent filmmaker and co-founder of #MEAction, an international advocacy network for people with disabilities and chronic illness. Her Sundance award-winning, Emmy-nominated feature documentary, Unrest, has screened in over 30 countries and had its US national broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. She is also co-creator of Unrest VR, winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities Award.


(Due to Covid-19, all sessions will take place virtually via Zoom. All times listed are Indiana, Eastern Time Zone. For online connection information, please contact Nahyan Fancy,

Friday, April 17

4:00 p.m.  Opening Remarks from the Dean of Faculty, Bridget Gourley

4:10 p.m.  Keynote Speaker: Pablo F. Gómez, Associate Professor, Department of Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Talk Title: “Violence and Resilience: The African Diaspora and the History of Medicine and Science in the Early Modern Atlantic”

Saturday, April 18

11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Panel A: Risking to Protect/Risks in Protecting Against Environmental Threats

  • Anastasia Nesbitt (California State University, Long Beach), “Existential Risk: A Discourse of Democratic Reason”

  • Cecilia Slane (DePauw University), “For the Sake of the Environment?: Policing and Control in Glacier Bay National Park”

  • Anna Gibson (Vassar College), “The Politics of Mobility: Study Abroad in an Era of Climate Change”

Discussant: Anthony Andersson (History)

3:00–5:30 p.m.

Panel C: Healthcare, Identity and Society

  • Emma Gile (DePauw University), “Tuberculosis: A Forgotten Disease with Global Consequences”

  • Margaret Matthews (Vassar College), “Self-managed Medication Abortion: Changing the Landscape of Abortion Access Independent of the Law”

  • Mayesha Awal (Georgetown University), “Whether Gang Membership Predicts the Willingness for Adolescents in the Juvenile Justice System to Seek Healthcare Services”

  • Alexander Ray (Bennington College), “Paradise Love-Reacted: Facebook Groups and Community Identity in the Contemporary Virgin Islands”

Discussant: Nahyan Fancy (History)

Future Conference Location: Peeler Auditorium, Peeler Art Center

2020 Symposium Information

This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together undergraduate students from across North America who are investigating (1) how science, technology and medicine (STM) affect societies (past or present); (2) how societal values and concerns (past or present) inform and constitute STM; and/or (3) the historical and/or conceptual foundations of STM; or 4) how STM enable systems of exclusion based on gender, race, sexuality, etc., or help people overcome such exclusionary systems (special Percy Julian anniversary theme).  Given the fast-paced nature of advances in STM and their deepening penetration into personal lives, critical thinking about STM is essential in our time. We invite submissions addressing the above topics from students across the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. We particularly encourage papers that transcend boundaries, whether disciplinary, spatial or temporal.

This Conference is also one of many events at DePauw being held during the 2019-2020 academic year to honor the 100th anniversary of the graduation of Percy Lavon Julian from DePauw University.



This conference was made possible due to funding and assistance from: the John William Asher and Anne F. Harris Fund in Humanities, the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, and Academic Affairs. We would like to thank Hope Sutherlin, Erna Nobles, Ben Hogan, Brenda Rogers, and all DePauw students who helped host our visiting speakers. Finally, we would like to thank the History of Science Society for continuing to support and advertise this conference.

Organizing Committee: Salma Allam '20, Mallory Bell '20, Kumiko Nakajima '21, Son Nguyen '20, Ryan Bean (History, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies), Nahyan Fancy (History), and Matthew Oware (Sociology, and Africana Studies).


Nahyan Fancy
Conference Organizer
Professor of Middle East/Comparative History
DePauw University
P: 765-658-6354

Librarian Info

Caroline Gilson's picture
Caroline Gilson
My office in the Prevo Science Library is Julian 174; We can also talk via Google Chat or we can set up a Zoom meeting.