Skip Navigation

Our Mission

Wolf Schafer


Engineering has become much too important to be left to the engineers.  

The Motto of the Department of Technology and Society (DTS)
paraphrases James Bryant Conant’s post-Hiroshima conclusion,
“Science is much too important to be left to the scientists.”



DTS is characterized by a dual competence: First, we have the technical capacity for productive collaboration with our sister departments in the Stony Brook College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), and second, we add social science expertise and humanistic sensibility to the shared goal of a holistic engineering education. Hence, smart engineering education is the core mission of the Technology & Society department. 

Twenty-first century engineering is a gift that keeps on giving: on the one hand, it solves countless problems, and on the other, it creates new challenges – unintended consequences of modern technoscientific progress, which more and better engineering must then overcome. Thus, we prepare our students to understand, shape, and manage the societal up- and downsides of progress in advanced and developing societies. 

DTS excels in teaching team skills and convergent approaches. We blend technical competence with social responsibility, algorithmic advances with ethical reasoning, and innovation with cultural and historical knowledge. Under the umbrella of smart education,  DTS faculty and instructors focus their research and teaching on smart communities, smart development, and smart ethics, or, as we say, the “four smarts” of DTS.

- Dr. Wolf Schäfer
Professor and Chair