Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Gossin, Pamela
Discipline and Number
HIST 3328 Section 002
F Time 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title
History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine

Description of Course:

Pre-requisites: HIST 1301, HIST 1302, HIST 2301, HIST 2330, HIST 2331, or equivalent; and enrollment in UTeach program.

This course is especially designed for those training to be elementary and secondary science and mathematics teachers through the UTeach program, and (space permitting) other students interested in the interdisciplinary relations of science and the humanities, such as pre-health majors, and those pursuing the minor in Medical and Scientific Humanities (MaSH). This course counts toward the Minor in Medical and Scientific Humanities (MaSH)

Course Description:
Where did science come from? How did human beings begin to make sense of the natural world and their part in it? How are the same processes of imagination, invention and discovery still at work today in shaping human cultures’ understanding of natural phenomena? What roles did those from various knowledge bases and “disciplinary” backgrounds play in the evolution of science?
In this interdisciplinary history course we will ask those questions (and more!) as we read and discuss texts of natural philosophy, the history of science, scientific biography and literature. We will trace the origins and development of western science and its construction of natural knowledge from the ancient world through the near present. From philosophical, scientific and literary points of view, we will explore whether there was any such thing as the “Scientific Revolution,” and if so, how the “revolutionary” changes in world views influenced human life on social, political and personal levels. How do scientific ideas and technological developments continue to transform our minds, bodies and lives today?
The central inquiries of this class will focus on these questions: What is “nature”? What is “natural”? What is “supernatural”? How have our definitions of such concepts changed over time and altered our ideas about what it means to be “human”? Do we “discover” order in the universe or do we “invent” it? How have the relationships between (and relative values and roles of ) imagination, faith and reason shifted from the ancient world through the early modern period into the present? With what consequences?
Class meetings will include lecture, discussion, films and student presentations as we examine developments in magic and alchemy, astronomy and cosmology, natural history, the history of medicine, life sciences, and experimental science. NO technical or specific scientific background is required.
NOTE: All student papers and presentations will be expected to connect the historical and literary “perspectives” presented in class to modern (18thc to contemporary) developments in science. All students will write a 2pp film critique and a 3 pp interpretative/analytical paper over a relevant scientific auto/biography, work of “literary science” or a text about inventions, technology, mathematics or the history of science (see list on next page). The 3pp book paper will be graded as the take-home essay portion of the final exam. In addition, UTeach students will create lesson plans and in-class presentations (“mini-lessons”) that draw upon the historical and cultural information found in their selected text and paper.

Course objectives:
Students will read and discuss a wide variety of literary and historical texts, demonstrating the ability to interpret and analyze themes and issues using various critical methods, including formal, historical, biographical and cultural approaches. Students will write a film critique, an analytical/interpretative paper, and lesson plan and make in-class presentations.

Required Texts:

REQUIRED TEXTS -- literature and science:
Marlowe, Christopher, Dr Faustus
Baigrie, Brian, Scientific Revolutions: Primary Texts in the History of Science (selections; SR for short)
Appleman, Philip, ed., Darwin (selections)
Feynman, Richard, Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman
Watson, James, The Double Helix

REQUIRED TEXTS – history and philosophy of science:
Crowe, Michael, Theories of the Worlds: From Antiquity to the Copernican Revolution (selections)
Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science (2nd ed or newer)
Gleick, James, Isaac Newton
Holmes, Richard, The Age of Wonder (selections)

Hankins, Thomas, Science and the Enlightenment, selections (may also be purchased at Half-Price Books)
Women in Science, selected articles (on electronic reserve)
Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens, video/dvd

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED TEXT (to use as the subject of a 3pp take-home essay (and, for UTeach students, the lesson plan and in-class presentation)). All students must select something from one of the 3 categories/columns below. You may also substitute another choice, with Prof’s prior approval.

Sobel, Galileo’s Daughter - Poems:Crowe+Butler, Thomson# Jardine, Ingenious Pursuits
* Heiligman, Charles and Emma - Swift, Gulliver’s Travels Macdonald,Fem.Ingenuity
Brock, Comet Sweeper - Fontenelle, Conversations Weitekamp, Right Stuff...
Goodall, Reason for Hope - Galileo, Sidereus Nuncius Sobel, Longitude
McGrayne, Nobel Prize Women - Wilson, Anthill: A Novel * Turkle, ed. FallingforSci
* Maddox, Rosalind Franklin - Overbye, Einstein in Love Seife, Zero
* Gornick, Women in Science - Eiseley, Immense Journey Clark, Sun Kings

* indicates ordered by campus/off-campus bookstores; ALSO: Ronald Numbers, ed., Galileo Goes to Jail and other myths about Science and Religion, Harvard, 2010 ISBN 978 0-674 05741-8

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Grading/ Course Requirements: UTeach Students will complete items 1-4, with each counting 25%; all other students (admitted on a space-available basis) will complete items 1-3, with each counting 1/3rd of their total course grade.

1. Attendance and participation (A&P): includes in-class participation, 2 pp film critique, quizzes, study sheets, peer review comments
2. Midterm unit exam: 30pt in-class essay + 70 pt objective section
3. Final unit exam: 3 pp book critique as (30pt) take-home essay + 70 pt. objective section
4. [UTeach students only]: 10 min presentation and lesson plan (due day of presentation) avg’d = 25%

* Other extra credit assignments may be used to enhance your A&P grade, such as Reading Notebooks and vocabulary definitions, taking notes on “Special Topics” readings etc. Listen in class for more ideas and info!

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