Holtz Center STS Summer School Experience by Wanheng Hu
The STS summer school at UW-Madison has been one of the most fruitful and enjoyable supplementary training programs that I ever had—great course, great people, and great scenery. I first got to know about this program when I saw a handout at the 2015 4S meeting in Denver, and was immediately attracted—the theme sounded really interesting, some of the faculty members were already known to me in my readings, and the well-rounded course design was exactly what I was aspiring for as a beginner in the area. Most importantly, I was considering applying for STS graduate programs then, and this would be a fantastic opportunity to systematically know about theories, methods, and academic life in the area.
During the program, I was particularly impressed by the presentations by Professor Stephen Hilgartner, from whom I continue to learn in my current graduate program, and Professor Sergio Sismondo, who authored the first STS textbook that I read. The in-depth discussions and field trips were also very illuminating, and addressed many of my previous confusions. I have also been very grateful to the organizing faculty as represented by Professor Linda Hogle, for their enormous hospitality and considerate organizations, in addition to their academic inspirations, which really made us feel at home in the picturesque Madison. Particularly, I owe great deal to and received enormous hearty help from Professor Nicole Nelson. As one of the recommenders in my application for graduate programs, Nicole has been a passionate, genuine and patient tutor as well as friend during the program and beyond, who gave me many useful suggestions and encouragement on taking a career path to STS.
The program was also a great platform to meet people with diverse backgrounds but similar interests, and I really enjoyed the time spent with the classmates, not only in the intellectual discussions, but also in exchanging life experiences with a beer at the Terrace by Lake Mendota. The only thing to my regret during the two-week program was that, I didn’t take the chance to kayak in the lake, which was so lively yet tranquil during the sunset. I wish to have an opportunity to do that soon!