Courses Offered

History of Science and Technology Undergraduate Courses

HSCI 1011 - Digital World
Essential knowledge and critical perspective to understand today's Digital World. The history and social impact of the digital revolution, including security, surveillance, gaming, "reality," and global internet governance.

HSCI 1212 - Life on Earth: Origins, Evolution & Ecology
How have people explained where life came from and how it has developed over time? We examine controversies over life's origins, the Holocene extinction, human population growth, the Dust Bowl and soil conservation, DDT and falcon repatriation, and disease and responses to pandemics. Evolution, natural theology. Ecosystems.

HSCI 1714/3714 - Technology and Civilization: Stone Tools to Steam Engines
History of technology in its cultural context from earliest times to the Industrial Revolution. Neolithic Revolution, Bronze and Iron Ages, ancient civilizations, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, and Renaissance.

HSCI 1715/3715 - Technology and Civilization: Waterwheels to the Web
Relations of technology to culture since Industrial Revolution. Diffusion of Industrial Revolution, modes of adaptation by different cultures, social impact.

HSCI 1814/3814 - Making Modern Science: The Ancients to Newton
Development and changing nature of sciences in their cultural context. Babylonian/Greek science. Decline/transmission of Greek science. Scientific Revolution (1500-1700) from Copernicus to Newton.

HSCI 1815/3815 - Making Modern Science: Atoms, Genes and Quanta
How scientists like Darwin and Einstein taught us to think about nature; everything from space, time and matter to rocks, plants, and animals.

HSCI 2333V - Honors Course: Science and Technology in the American Century
In the twentieth century, the United States became a leader in science and technology. Course examines reasons for this success and also the ways in which those activities raised ethical and social concerns.

HSCI 3211/5211 - Biology and Culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Changing conceptions of life and aims and methods of biology; changing relationships between biology and the physical and social sciences; broader intellectual and cultural dimensions of developments in biology.

HSCI 3242/5242 - Navigating a Darwinian World
In this course we grapple with the impact of Darwin's theory of evolution in the scientific community and beyond. We'll examine and engage the controversies that have surrounded this theory from its inception in the 19th century through its applications in the 21st. What made Darwin a Victorian celebrity, a religious scourge, an economic sage and a scientific hero? We'll look closely at the early intellectual influences on theory development; study the changing and dynamic relationship between science and religion; and critically analyze the application of Darwin's theory to questions of human nature and behavior.

HSCI 3244/5244 - Nature's History: Science, Humans, and the Environment
We examine environmental ideas, sustainability, conservation history; critique of the human impact on nature; empire and power in the Anthropocene; how the science of ecology has developed; and modern environmental movements around the globe. Case studies include repatriation of endangered species; ecology and evolutionary theory; ecology of disease; and climate change.

HSCI 3331 - Technology and American Culture
American culture(s) and technology, pre-Columbian times to present. Artisanal, biological, chemical, communications, energy, environment, electronic, industrial, military, space and transportation technologies explained in terms of economic, social, political and scientific causes/effects.

HSCI 3332/5332 - Science in the Shaping of America
The British colonies of North America were founded in precisely the same centuries as a revolution in European’s understanding of nature, transformed by the ideas of Galileo, Newton, and Linnaeus and by the technologies of the industrial revolution. Native Americans and African Americans had their own knowledge of nature, and their close understanding intersected with the increasingly scientific techniques brought with European settlers and enhanced the survival and intellectual capacities of the newcomers. By demonstrating the diversity of scientists in the ever changing demographics of an immigrant nation, the course argues that this diversity and the capacities of newcomers contributed to the national success in science and engineering. The engagement with science at points were used to try to limit access by women or African-Americans, but sciences was also used to discredit false theories through ever expanding emphasis on empiricism as well as attention to the social and economic consequences of innovation. The goal is to demonstrate those historical linkages in particular places and institutions as they influenced and reinforced specific scientific work, while, at the same time, being attentive to how scientific ideas and practices were shaped by American culture.

HSCI 3401/5401 - Ethics in Science and Technology
Historical issues involve research ethics including utilitarian, social Darwinian, and other ethical systems developed in science. Ethical problems posed by modern science and technology, including nuclear energy, chemical industry, and information technologies.

HSCI 3611/5611 - Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Rise of Modern Science
History of relations between science/European Enlightenment in eighteenth century. Science/public culture, role of science in refashioning humans/societies. Impact of scientific explorations/exploitation afforded by new global/imperial world.

HSCI 4121W - History of 20th Century Physics
Experimental and theoretical discoveries in 20th-century physics (modern physics, theory of relativity, quantum theories, nuclear physics to World War II) within the context of educational, institutional, and political developments in Europe and the United States.

HSCI 4321 - History of Computing
Developments in the last 150 years; evolution of hardware and software; growth of computer and semiconductor industries and their relation to other business areas; changing relationships resulting from new data-gathering and analysis techniques; automation; social and ethical issues.

History of Medicine Undergraduate Courses

HMED 3001W - Health, Disease, and Healing I
Introduction to intellectual/social history of European/American medicine, health care from classical antiquity through 18th century.

HMED 3002/5002 - Healthcare in History II
Introduction to intellectual/social history of European/American medicine, health care in 19th/20th centuries.

HMED 3040 - Human Health, Disease, and the Environment in History
Introduction to historical relationship of human health and the environment. How natural/human-induced environmental changes have, over time, altered our experiences with disease and our prospects for health.

HMED 3055/5055 - Women, Health, and History
Women's historical roles as healers, patients, research subjects, health activists. Biological determinism, reproduction, mental health, nursing, women physicians, public health reformers, alternative practitioners. Gender disparities in diagnosis, treatment, research, careers. Assignments allow students to explore individual interests.

HMED 3065/5065 - Body, Soul, and Spirit in Medieval and Renaissance European Medicine
Body/soul in medieval theology/cosmology. Religious conceptions of body/soul. Medical conceptions in medieval world. Medieval/renaissance psychology. Medical astrology and its consequences. Medical normal/abnormal body. Medicine of reproduction and sexual identity. Death, burial, dissection, and resurrection in medical/religious perspective. Macrocosmic/microcosmic body. Limits to human power/authority over body. Anatomical/chemical body/spirit.

HMED 3075/5075 - Technology and Medicine in Modern America
How technology came to medicine's center-stage. Impact on production of medical knowledge, professionalization, development of institutions/industry, health policy, and gender/race disparities in health care.

HMED 4960 - Senior Research Topics in Medical History
Seminar. Reading/discussion, individual directed research project with oral presentation. Students meet in peer groups and with instructor.