The Council on Science and Technology (CST)

Our Mission: Who We Are and What We Do

The CST is comprised of dedicated faculty and staff who work to advance STEM literacy across Princeton University and beyond through rigorous course development, creative interdisciplinary programming, and robust educational research.  By developing strong collaborations across disciplines, the CST seeks to ensure that all members of the Princeton University community, regardless of their background, experience, or discipline, can engage with, appreciate, and apply science in their everyday lives, in their careers, and in society. 

Who We Serve

The CST serves a variety of audiences at Princeton University. 

For Students, the CST:

  • Offers and supports innovative, interdisciplinary courses that appeal to a variety of student interests;
  • Provides funding for student organizations and/or student projects that align with the CST’s mission;
  • Oversees the StudioLab, a 2500 sq. ft. creative technology space that promotes community and allows everyone, regardless of their prior experience, to create, design, and play;
  • Sponsors a wide range of events, including lectures, symposia, and workshops.
  • Awards the Gregory T. Pope Prize for science writing;
  • Welcomes students’ ideas and suggestions via the CST Student Advisory Board;
  • Supports student training and mentorship through student employment, University Administrative Fellows (UAF – graduate students only), and CST Communication Fellows. 

For Faculty, the CST:

  • Provides support and advice for those seeking SEN/SELcourse designations, which are granted by the CST; 
  • Offers funding, space, materials, and support for innovative course development via an annual Call for Proposals;
  • Develops programs and events, such as the Living at the Intersection Symposium (LIS), that allow faculty to engage with colleagues across a wide range of disciplines including arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences; 
  • Offers opportunities to support the mission of the CST through participation on the Executive Committee
  • Sponsors visiting artists, instructors, and scholars, in collaboration with programs and departments throughout the University, that enhance STEM learning experiences across disciplines;
  • Provides opportunities for educational research collaboration on STEM or STEM integration with arts, humanities, and social sciences; 
  • Offers resources and a supportive community for creative expression and intellectual/artistic risk-taking.  

For the greater Princeton University community, the CST:

For the greater STEM/STEM education community, the CST:

  • Contributes to the scholarly discourse on quality STEM education through robust research and scholarship;
  • Provides insights into best practices for curricular and co-curricular programming that integrates STEM and the arts, humanities, and social sciences in deep, meaningful ways. 

What We Believe – CST Defining Characteristics and Aspirations

We believe that STEM literacy, defined as the ability to recognize, apply, and appreciate STEM in one’s everyday life and in society, is a key component of a quality liberal arts education.

  • We are committed to advancing quality STEM education that empowers people by giving them an informed voice in societal discourse and decision making.
  • We support the development of STEM literacy for leaders and future leaders in all fields, including business, politics, arts, and service. 

We believe that people are multifaceted and should have opportunities to explore many disciplinary interests.

  • We support interdisciplinary collaborations and experiences that are synergistic and capitalize on the unique expertise of all involved.
  • We create curricular and co-curricular opportunities that encourage all students to engage in STEM exploration, regardless of their academic focus.  
  • We provide support for faculty to pursue interests within and beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries that ultimately advance research and scholarship on STEM education.  
  • We are committed to developing events that invite the Princeton community to delve into STEM topics and make deep connections regardless of their background.   

We believe that the insights and influences brought by a diverse community strengthens all disciplines. 

  • We support STEM programming that attracts people from all backgrounds and provides opportunities for them to thrive. 
  • We engage in activities that facilitate and elevate the sharing of knowledge and recognize the inherent value of examining the world through a variety of lenses and perspectives.

We believe that quality STEM education requires innovation and risk-taking that supports the free exchange of ideas and taps a variety of inquiry methods.

  • We are committed to supporting scholars—including students, faculty, and others in the University community—who take risks in STEM education, communication, and collaboration.

We value evidence-based decision making in our work, both in the form of implementing rigorous, research-based STEM approaches in our courses and in using education research to guide our programmatic efforts.

  • We inform, and are informed by, STEM and STEM education scholarship. 
  • We engage in robust STEM education research that contributes meaningfully to scholarly discourse, particularly in regard to quality STEM opportunities for all members of the university community, regardless of their discipline or concentration.