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Catastrophic Risks and Solutions (CRS) Approved Courses

This concentration allows students to focus on understanding, anticipating, communicating, and reducing large-scale catastrophic risks, defined as threats to large cities, regions, ethnic groups, entire societies, human civilization, or humanity itself. Examples include climate change, pandemics, ecosystem collapse, famine, nuclear war, genocide, earthquakes, asteroid impacts, and uncontrolled or hostile artificial intelligence. Students in this concentration will choose one or several such risks and define a plan of study that includes analysis, tools for understanding, and current knowledge of how they might be solved or reduced in scale and scope. Examples of analysis and tools for understanding include scientific approaches (statistics, modeling), social science approaches (psychology, anthropology, or sociology of risk), and humanistic studies (history, fiction, film, art). 
 
The Catastrophic Risks and Solutions concentration will let students explore how natural, technological, economic, political, and social dimensions of catastrophic risks interact. For example, students might study how technological choices, history, socioeconomic status, and geography combine to shape which groups are most vulnerable to climate change. Or they might examine the factors that govern risk perception and willingness to pay for mitigation, and how those factors play out differently with respect to several major risks. Policy studies of particular risk-mitigation measures would be another avenue open to students in this concentration.
 
Students will learn to synthesize multiple approaches using STS analytical frameworks and sensibilities, which they cultivate through Major Core and Concentration Core courses.
 

How do I use this course list? Use the Courses menu to the left to select either Core Courses or Concentration Areas. Then use the 'Requirements' filter to identify which courses have been designated Socio-Cultural, Concentration Core (within Socio-Cultural), Technical, WIM and Global. 

A condensed PDF version of our course list is also available to help students plan their curriculum. Please note courses on this list are updated once per year. Please refer directly to ExploreCourses and the STS website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

 

Title Notes Quarter Day, Time, Location
EARTHSYS 185
Feeding Nine Billion
Lobell, D., Gonzales-Kramer, L., Kuppermann, J.
2020-2021 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am
Remote
EARTHSYS 227
Decision Science for Environmental Threats (ESS 227)
Wong-Parodi, G., Bouton, M.
2020-2021 Autumn
Monday Wednesday
10:00am - 11:20am
Remote
EASTASN 217
Health and Healthcare Systems in East Asia (EASTASN 117)
Eggleston, K.
2020-2021 Winter
Monday Wednesday
7:00pm - 8:20pm
Remote
ECON 155
Environmental Economics and Policy
Goulder, L., Aron-Dine, S.
2020-2021 Winter
Remote
ECON 155
Environmental Economics and Policy
Goulder, L.
2020-2021 Summer
Remote
ECON 17N
Energy, the Environment, and the Economy
Wolak, F.
2020-2021 Summer
Monday Wednesday
10:00am - 11:50am
ENERGY 101
Energy and the Environment (EARTHSYS 101)
Glenwright, K., Peshin, T., Durlofsky, L., Azevedo, I.
2020-2021 Winter
Monday Wednesday Friday
10:00am - 11:00am
Remote
ENERGY 104
Sustainable Energy for 9 Billion (ENERGY 206)
Benson, S., de Chalendar, J., Hennessy, N., Grekin, R.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday Friday
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Remote
ESS 102
Scientific Basis of Climate Change (ESS 202)
Sheshadri, A.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday
2:30pm - 3:50pm
Remote
ESS 305
Climate Change: An Earth Systems Perspective
Diffenbaugh, N., Campolo, J.
2020-2021 Autumn
Thursday
12:30pm - 1:50pm
Remote
ETHICSOC 136R
Introduction to Global Justice (INTNLREL 136R, PHIL 76, POLISCI 136R, POLISCI 336)
Blajer de la Garza, Y., Koeksal, S.
2020-2021 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am
Remote
FRENCH 265
The Problem of Evil in Literature, Film, and Philosophy (POLISCI 338E)
Dupuy, J.
2020-2021 Spring
Wednesday
8:30am - 11:20am
Remote
GEOLSCI 6
Data Science for Geoscience (EARTHSYS 100A)
Caers, J., Wang, L.
2020-2021 Winter
Monday Wednesday
10:00am - 11:20am
Remote
GEOPHYS 201
Frontiers of Geophysical Research at Stanford (GEOPHYS 101)
Biondi, B., Tikoo, S.
2020-2021 Autumn
Monday
2:30pm - 3:50pm
Remote
GEOPHYS 90
Earthquakes and Volcanoes (EARTHSYS 113)
Segall, P., Blackstone, L.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday Friday
11:30am - 12:30pm
Remote
HISTORY 179C
The Ethical Challenges of the Climate Catastrophe (HISTORY 79C)
Wolfe, M., Constantin, A., Greenfield, E.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
8:30am - 9:50am
Remote
HISTORY 203C
History of Ignorance
Proctor, R.
2020-2021 Autumn
Monday
8:30am - 11:30am
Remote
HISTORY 234P
The Age of Plague: Medicine and Society, 1300-1750 (STS 200U)
Findlen, P.
2020-2021 Autumn
Monday Wednesday
5:30pm - 6:50pm
Remote
INDE 263
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases I
Amieva, M., Chen, S., Sow, M.
2020-2021 Winter
Thursday
8:30am - 11:20am
INTLPOL 217
The Future of Global Cooperation (PUBLPOL 217)
Spiegel, J.
2020-2021 Winter
Wednesday
10:00am - 11:20am
Remote
INTLPOL 240
Contemporary Issues in International Security
McMaster, H.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
12:30pm - 1:50pm
Remote
INTNLREL 135A
International Environmental Law and Policy: Oceans and Climate Change
Chand, K.
2020-2021 Winter
Wednesday
2:30pm - 5:20pm
Remote
LAW 2504
Environmental Law and Policy
Thompson, B.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
11:10am - 12:40pm
Law-Remote
LAW 2513
Climate: Politics, Finance, and Infrastructure
Seiger, A., Gordon, K.
2020-2021 Winter
Wednesday
4:15pm - 6:15pm
Law-Remote
LAW 2513
Climate: Politics, Finance, and Infrastructure
Seiger, A., Gordon, K.
2020-2021 Winter
Wednesday
4:15pm - 6:15pm
Law-Remote
MATSCI 144
Thermodynamic Evaluation of Green Energy Technologies
Chueh, W., Jin, N.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
12:30pm - 1:50pm
Remote
MATSCI 156
Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries: Materials for the Energy Solution
Clemens, B.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
2:30pm - 3:50pm
Remote
MED 224
Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab (SE Lab) - Human & Planetary Health (HRP 224, PUBLPOL 224)
Bloom, G.
2020-2021 Autumn
Wednesday
1:00pm - 3:50pm
Remote
MS&E 193
Technology and National Security: Past, Present, and Future (INTLPOL 256, MS&E 293)
Felter, J., Olney, R., Lin, H., Chen, C., Rincon, V., Girbal, R., Crespo, E., Wieland, C., Lu, R.
2020-2021 Autumn
Monday Wednesday
1:00pm - 2:20pm
Remote
MS&E 243
Energy and Environmental Policy Analysis
Sweeney, J.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday
1:00pm - 2:20pm
Remote
MS&E 394
Advanced Methods in Modeling for Climate and Energy Policy
Weyant, J.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
2:30pm - 3:50pm
Remote
MS&E 92Q
International Environmental Policy
Weyant, J.
2020-2021 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
8:30am - 9:50am
Remote
OSPPARIS 91
The Future of Globalization: Economics, Politics and the Environment
2020-2021 Autumn
PHYSICS 201
The Physics of Energy and Climate Change (PHYSICS 199)
Chu, S.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday
11:30am - 12:50pm
Remote
POLISCI 114S
International Security in a Changing World
Trinkunas, H., Mastro, O., Matchett, L., Kelly, P., Fleischaker, N.
2020-2021 Winter
Monday Wednesday
2:30pm - 3:50pm
Remote
PUBLPOL 116
Climate Perspectives: Climate Science, Impacts, Policy, Negotiations, and Advocacy (HUMBIO 116)
Nation, J.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
12:30pm - 1:50pm
Remote
PWR 2STA
Writing & Rhetoric 2: Ethics and AI
Starkman, R.
2020-2021 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am
Remote
PWR 2STA
Writing & Rhetoric 2: Ethics and AI
Starkman, R.
2020-2021 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
12:30pm - 1:50pm
Remote
PWR 2STA
Writing & Rhetoric 2: Ethics and AI
Starkman, R.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am
Remote
STS 1
The Public Life of Science and Technology (CSRE 1T)
Simpson, A., Martinez, N., Kerr, E., Mondelli, F., Jain, T., Edwards, P.
2020-2021 Winter
Monday Wednesday
11:30am - 12:00pm
Remote
STS 190
Environment and Society
Sato, K.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday
10:00am - 11:20am
Remote
STS 191W
Doing STS: Introduction to Research
Brito, E., Sato, K.
2020-2021 Winter
Monday Wednesday
10:30am - 11:20am
Remote
STS 200T
Racial Justice in the Nuclear Age (HISTORY 203F)
Hecht, G.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
2:30pm - 3:50pm
Lomita Mall South
STS 51A
Race in Science (AFRICAAM 51A, CEE 151A, COMM 51A, CSRE 51A, HUMBIO 71A)
Reid, J., Edwards, P.
2020-2021 Autumn
Wednesday
4:00pm - 5:20pm
Remote
STS 51B
Race in Technology (AFRICAAM 51B, BIOE 91B, CEE 151B, COMM 51B, CSRE 51B, HUMBIO 71B)
Reid, J., Edwards, P.
2020-2021 Winter
Wednesday
4:00pm - 5:20pm
Remote
STS 51C
Race in Medicine (AFRICAAM 51C, BIOE 91C, CEE 151C, CSRE 51C, HUMBIO 71C)
Reid, J., Edwards, P.
2020-2021 Spring
Wednesday
4:00pm - 5:20pm
Remote
SUST 261
Art and Science of Decision Making
Robinson, B.
2020-2021 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am
Remote
THINK 65
Preventing Human Extinction
Luby, S., Edwards, P.
2020-2021 Spring
Monday Wednesday
1:00pm - 1:50pm
Remote

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