Courses Offered

History of Science and Technology Undergraduate Courses

HSCI 1011 - Digital World (Spring)
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 (Spring)
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 1585 - Mammoths, Minerals, Monoculture: History of Earth and Environmental Science (Fall)

Questions of geological time and of change in the study of the earth; human use of natural resources in industry and agriculture; and understandings of the earth and environment as a global system.

HSCI 1714/3714 - Technology and Civilization: Stone Tools to Steam Engines (variable)
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 (variable)
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 (Fall)
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 (Spring)
How scientists like Darwin and Einstein taught us to think about nature; everything from space, time and matter to rocks, plants, and animals.

HSCI 3211/5211 - Biology and Culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Fall)
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 (Spring)
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 (Fall) 
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 (Summer)
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 3401/5401 - Ethics in Science and Technology (Fall)
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 (Spring)
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 (Spring)
The transition from classical to modern physics (relativity, quantum) and its architects (from Planck and Einstein to Heisenberg and Schrödinger). The WWII bomb projects in the US and in Germany. Post-war developments (solid state, particle physics).

HSCI 4321 - History of Computing (Fall)
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.

HSCI 4455 - Women, Gender, and Science (Spring) 

Three intersecting themes analyzed from 1700s to the present: women in science, sexual and gendered concepts in modern sciences, and impact of science on conceptions of sexuality and gender in society.

History of Medicine Undergraduate Courses

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

HMED 3002/5002 - Healthcare in History II (Spring)
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 (Spring)
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 (Spring)
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 3075/5075 - Technology and Medicine in Modern America (Fall)
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 (Fall) 
Seminar. Reading/discussion, individual directed research project with oral presentation. Students meet in peer groups and with instructor.