Ever wondered if there is a thing as a universal, constant truth? Or maybe questioned if an electrical razor can be sexist? Then the master Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society might be the program for you!
I started my academic career by studying Applied Communication Sciences at the University of Twente. The program gave me a solid base in social science, since the courses were interdisciplinary of nature. We dabbled in social psychology, there were lectures in statistics, and enough theories regarding the press, media, and how to get your message across. In my third year, the course Philosophy of Communication inspired me to enrol into the master program called Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society. Even though my bachelor was diverse of nature, I wanted to get a different perspective on research, technology, and society in its entire form and not just through the scope of a communication scientist.
The expertise of the staff is one of the reasons I chose to study PSTS. Most of them have won awards for their research and are highly regarded philosophers all over the world. However, even though they’re respected in their field, there is no formality between them and us. I’ve never had the idea that a teacher thought she or he was way above me. I know that if I have a problem regarding an article or want to spin around an idea for an essay, I can walk to their office, ask for a minute of their time, and more often than not they’ll give me five.
The informality is partly due to the small number of students every year. It makes for a more personal approach from the lecturer to the group. Within the group, there is a multicultural vibe going on which gives for interesting conflicts of ideas. The academic backgrounds of PSTS students are diverse as well since some are engineers, others philosophers, and others still who, like me, have a background in social sciences. This atmosphere of such diverse people gives rise to discussions on all sorts of topics, for example, if mass culture results in a loss of authenticity within an individual. Luckily, this isn’t the case within the program, since personal input is required for most essays and assignments.
Throughout the program, I realised that a problem can’t be tackled by staying in the narrow scope of your own ideas and outlook. This statement seems like kicking in an open door, but thinking and shifting through multiple (philosophical) perspectives is not an easy feat, and is regarded as one of the strongest features of the alumni of PSTS.
When all is said and done, I’d like to help improve the world to a more environmentally friendly place. A combination of my bachelor of communication and the master of PSTS is ideal, since having a toolbox of practical philosophy and ethics means nothing if it can’t be communicated to anyone else. For instance, I could consult companies on environmental ethics or perhaps advise government institutions on how to live a sustainable, good life. Even if this doesn’t work out, I know the knowledge I’ve learned at the University of Twente will be a valuable asset to just about any company, organisation, or government.