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College of Arts and Sciences

  • Group at the 2023 writers retreat.

Signature Programming

The Ann Johnson Institute for Science, Technology & Society (AJI) at the University of South Carolina supports historical, philosophical, scientific, and engineering approaches. The activities we support are designed to contribute to building better communities because at the AJI community is the method.

Thanks to the Ann Johnson Institute’s support for childcare at the Philosophy of Science Association meeting this year, I was able to attend with all three of my three children in tow, while my spouse went to a different conference on the other side of the country. Without AJI support, I would not have been able to present my research or meet up with my writing partner to work on our book project. We live on different continents, so we try to take advantage of any opportunity to get together. As it happens, we owe double thanks to the Ann Johnson Institute, as they are also directly supporting our scholarly work in the form of a Book Manuscript Workshop next spring. As my primary appointment is in teaching, I am especially grateful to the AJI for helping to keep my research agenda alive.

Book manuscript workshops are targeted toward individuals at any career stage who have not previously published a monograph. The successful applicant will have a first-time book manuscript near completion at the time of applying. They will invite, and the AJI will fund, up to three senior experts in the author’s field as well as an acquisitions editor from a major scholarly press to campus. A small group of relevant experts within the South Carolina community may also attend.

The purpose of this workshop is to support stronger and more rigorous manuscripts from first-time STS authors. Equally, it is geared toward developing communities of colleagues from different disciplines and geographical locations. The AJI is committed to building such communities from the bottom up, seeding them and positioning them to question and reframe complex problems. The AJI takes a broad approach to STS, envisioning it in partnership with historical, philosophical, scientific, engineering and medical approaches, because at the AJI community is the method


The Ann Johnson Institute for Science, Technology & Society (AJI) and the Philosophy Department at the University of South Carolina welcome applications for a one-week writing retreat at The Ampersand Inn in Newton, New Jersey, 23-29 June 2024. Suman Seth, Leah McClimans, Allison Marsh, and Agnes Bolinska will be your hosts. The retreat offers five full days of writing in a country inn surrounded by acres of woodland in a state park.  

The theme of the 2024 AJI Writing Retreat is STS in Public Practice.  

Our 2024 Writer's Retreat is scheduled for June 23-June 29, and we have a wonderful location we look forward to revealing when applications open. Come back for the application link, which will be available September 15, 2023. The application form closes on November 15, 2023 and the recipients of our Writer's Retreat slots will be notified around January 15.  Look for more details on this year's theme and our expectations for attendees here. 

After formal schooling comes to an end, many people learn about science from creative endeavors.  The AJI supports various public programming, including films, plays, exhibits, and games that furthers community thinking about the interactions among science, technology, and society.  Funding considerations for AJI + the Arts is on a rolling basis.  Please send a letter of inquiry to with a brief description of your proposed project and a preliminary budget. 

Diving into Math with Emmy Noether comes to the University of South Carolina!
A theatre performance by portraittheater Vienna in co-operation with Freie Universität Berlin. Director: Sandra Schüddekopf, Actress: Anita Zieher.
Sponsored by the Ann Johnson Institute. See a preview here.
Zieher and crew launched their nationwide tour at the Longstreet Theatre on September 6, 2022.

“The Bag Lady”
Check back soon for more on this independent film sponsored by the AJI! Currently in development, this award-winning screenplay tells the story of Margaret E. Knight, the first woman to hold a patent, after she took the man who stole her designs for a paper bag-making machine to court and won. 

Since 2020, the AJI has partnered with Climate Ready Columbia [CRC] to ensure Columbia becomes the first city in South Carolina to achieve 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2036. The CRC is creating a roadmap to meet this goal, which would secure Columbia as the regional leader in clean and renewable energy. The AJI helps sponsor faculty and scholars pursuing grants, CRC conferences, programmatic partnerships, and other initiatives to meet this 2036 goal. 

Call for Applications: if you’d like more information on how to partner with the AJI on a conference, symposium or another relevant event, or if you have an art project you would like us to consider, please email us as

The Ann Johnson Institute for Science, Technology and Society supports conferences within science and technology studies and the history and philosophy of science and technology. In 2022, the AJI helped sponsor initiatives at the annual meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association, the History of Science Society, and the Society for the History of Technology. In 2023, we are co-hosting &HPS9 (Integrated History and Philosophy of Science) at the University of South Carolina. In 2024, we are co-hosting the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.