This chapter is divided into sections corresponding to a variety of individual social science and humanities disciplines. This organization allows faculty, students, and researchers in particular fields to address Shuttle and other space technologies within a disciplinary context. Some papers provide brief introductory materials for beginning students and other interested individuals who may not be familiar with the general role or structure of the discipline. Faculty and other readers with advanced knowledge will tend to skip such introductions.
Users of this book undoubtedly will adapt the papers in this chapter in a variety of ways that will vary according to the institutional setting. That is, some faculty may offer a course devoted exclusively to space-related issues, while others (probably the more common case) may integrate discussions of space technologies into general survey courses, employing one or more lectures that focus on the relation between space development and the specific discipline and also allow student term papers on space-related topics. The papers in this chapter are designed to assist instructors in either case, but the exact form and method of adaptation and integration of these materials depends primarily on the creative handling of the information by the instructor. Course syllabi and other supplementary materials in the appendices provide useful insights and references for instructors designing or revising courses that emphasize the interrelationships among individual disciplines, Shuttle-related technologies, and space development.
This chapter does not attempt to encompass all social science and humanities disciplines, but a broad range of representative fields are covered. As noted in the preface, stringent page constraints and the availability of appropriate materials exerted a strong influence on the selection of disciplines included in this chapter. Because the papers and appendices are individually authored, these materials reflect natural variation in form and style. Although the editors selectively revised the original manuscripts, they opted to maintain the individuality of the papers rather than to homogenize the submissions into a completely consistent format and style. Therefore, the editors assume complete responsibility for any discontinuities within the chapter.