Classes

History of Science 252. Sciences of History

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2016

What is historical method, in what sense might history be a science, and what relations have particular historical movements maintained with the natural sciences? Proposed answers to these questions have varied a great deal over time, in part according to changing conceptions of science, scientific method, and objectivity. This course will take an episodic (and somewhat chronological) approach to studying some crucial moments and places in which these questions have come into focus, both among academic historians and among others. When appropriate (which is most of the time) we will also...

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History of Science 100: Knowing the World

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2015

What are the origins of modern science and of the scientific method? Have the ways of knowing the world of different cultures and societies changed over time? How has scientific knowledge been related to other enterprises such as art, religion, literature, and commerce? We will ask these questions and more through a broad survey of many of the crucial moments in the development of science from the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century to the present day. Topics and figures will include Galileo, evolution, eugenics, the atomic bomb, and the human genome project.

History of Science 282. Genre and Knowledge

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2015

How and to what extent is knowledge shaped by the forms and genres through which it has been produced? Bringing history of science and technology together with media studies, book history, and cultural theory, we will consider histories and theories of representation, textuality, authorship, reading, illustration, translation, and the archive. Readings will include Foucault, Chartier, Latour, Kittler, Daston, Biagioli, Gitelman, Elshakry, and Kirschenbaum.

History of Science 185. Communicating Science: From Print Culture to Cybersocieties

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2015

Science doesn't just happen in the lab. Scientific results have to be communicated among scientists, and to the public. This course investigates the ways in which scientific knowledge circulates, and pays special attention to how new communications media have shaped knowledge-in-the-making. Topics will include the history of scientific genres (letters, encyclopedias, periodicals), popular science, peer review, intellectual property, and new information technologies. Selected classes will take place in Houghton Library.

History of Science 165. The Scientific Revolution

Semester: 

N/A

Offered: 

2011

Before the emergence of modern science, knowing about the natural world was generally the domain of people called natural philosophers. In early modern Europe, what it meant to engage in this activity, even what nature was understood to be, underwent so many radical transformations that historians and philosophers later named the era the Scientific Revolution. This seminar will examine the diverse ? even conflicting ? meanings that have been given to the Scientific Revolution over time. We will pay special attention to the role of media in scientific, political, and social revolution....

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History of Science 282. Communications Media in the Sciences

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2011

This seminar will investigate how and to what extent knowledge is shaped by the communication practices and media through which it has been produced, from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. The last decade has seen a convergence of concerns in book and media history with those in the history of science, including questions involving translation, standardization, intellectual property, technological determinism, and the materiality of knowledge. Participants will be encouraged to reconsider their own research interests in the light of these themes. Other topics will include the...

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