HSCI 101(F) Science, Technology, and Human Values (Same as Science and Technology Studies 101)

A study of the natures and roles of science and technology in today's society, and of the problems which technical advances pose for human values. An introduction to science-technology studies. Topics include: scientific creativity, the Two Cultures, the norms and values of science, the Manhattan Project and Big Science, the ethics and social responsibility of science, appropriate technology, technology assessment, and various problems which spring from dependencies engendered by living in a technological society, e.g., computers and privacy, automation and dehumanization, biomedical engineering.
*Same as Science and Technology Studies 101

Requirements: two or three short exercises, two papers (3-5 pages and 5-10 pages), and a final exam. Satisfies one semester of Division II requirement.

HSCI 224(S) Scientific Revolutions: 1543-1927

How much does science create the sensibilities and values of the modern world? How much, if any, technical detail is it necessary to know in order to understand the difference between propaganda and fact? This course investigates four major changes of world view, associated with Copernicus (1543); Newton (1687); Darwin (1859); and Planck (1900) and Einstein (1905). It also treats briefly the emergence of modern cosmogony, geology, and chemistry as additional reorganizations of belief about our origins, our past, and our material structure. We first acquire a basic familiarity with the scientific use and meaning of the new paradigms, as they emerged in historical context. We then ask how those ideas fit together to form a new framework, and ask what their trans-scientific legacy has been, that is, how they have affected ideas and values in other sciences, other fields or thought, and in society. Format: Seminar. 

Evaluation will be based on five problem sets, two short papers (3-5 pages), and two hour exams. Knowledge of high-school algebra is presupposed. Satisfies one semester of Division III requirement. Open to first-year students.

HSCI 240(F) Technology and Science in American Culture

Although technologically dependent, the American colonies slowly built a network of native scientists and inventors whose skills helped shape the United States' response to the Industrial Revolution. The interaction of science, technology, and society in the nineteenth century did much to form American identity: the machine in the garden, through the "American System of Manufactures" helped America rise to technological prominence; the professionalization and specialization of science and engineering led to their becoming vital national resources. Understanding these developments, as well as the heroic age of American invention (1865-1914), forms the focus of this course: how science and technology have helped shape modern American life. Format: Seminar.

Requirements: class discussion, six short reports (1-2 pages), and a final exam. Satisfies one semester of Division II requirement. Open to first-year students.

HSCI 305(F) Technology and Culture (Same as Environmental Studies 315 and History 292) 

From the Neolithic to the Atomic Age: the role of technology in transforming civilization. An historical inquiry into the nature of technology, its effects upon society, and the social forces which affect its development and diffusion. Particular attention is given to the dynamics of the impact of technology on human values and conduct, especially where subtle and unexpected. Uses James Burke's Connections video series.

Requirements: a term paper and a final exam. Satisfies one semester of Division II requirement.

HSCI 320(S) History of Medicine (Same as History 293)

A study of the growth and development of medical thought and practice, together with consideration of its interaction with science and social forces and institutions. The course aims at an appreciation of the socio-historical construction of Western medicine, from prehistory to the twentieth century. The course begins with paleomedical reconstructions, and moves to Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek [not only Hippocratic] medicine, Greek and Roman anatomy and physiology, Arabic medical thought, Renaissance medicine, and the gradual professionalization and specialization of medicine from the sixteenth century. Attention is paid to theories of health and disease, ideas about anatomy and physiology, in addition to achievements such as anesthesia and internal surgery, and advances in instruments such as obstetrical forceps and the stethoscope. For the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the course is designed to complement History 309, The Social History of American Medicine. Reading and discussion format.

Requirements: two papers (8-10 pages), midterm and final. No prerequisites. Satisfies one semester of Division II requirement. Open to first-year students. DOWNLOAD SYLLABUS


HSCI 334(S) Philosophy of Biology (Same as Philosophy 334)

HSCI 336(S) Science, Pseudoscience, and the Two Cultures (Same as Astronomy 336) (W)

HSCI 497, 498 Independent Study