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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

Undergraduate Course: History of Science 1 (STIS08005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIntroductory survey of science in world history from ancient times to the present, centered on the natural sciences (in their broader intellectual, institutional, and technical contexts) in the modern West (in its broader geopolitical, social, and economic contexts). The course discusses the changing meanings and conditions of scientific knowledge, showing how such knowledge has depended upon and reshaped its historical contexts. The course is appropriately combined with History of Medicine 1.
Course description The course surveys the history of science from ancient times to the present, with a focus on the natural sciences in the modern West and their respective wider contexts. We shall develop an approach to understanding scientific knowledge and authority as embedded in historically specific social, cultural, economic, and political settings. Asking what makes something scientific and how the historical sciences have interacted with their changing environs, we shall examine broad transformations in the ideas, institutions, status, apparatus, applications, and consequences of science. These questions will be closely linked to the changing faces of science¿s practitioners, targets, and constituents, which we shall examine in terms of gender, class, race, religion, and cultural identity.
This is a lecture-based course, providing three lectures per week which are accompanied by required and supplementary readings. In addition, we will be interactively engaging with the history of science by exploring Edinburgh as a pivotal site in that history. The course is cross-discipline and open to students with backgrounds and interests in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Available to all first and second year students
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessed by a short essay 30% and a long essay (70%) 2,000. Submitted via ELMA In order to pass the course, the long essay must be passed.
Feedback In the assessments we evaluate your ability to describe and discuss developments in the history of science in their cultural context, based on set questions. Formative feedback will be provided in writing during the course (for the short assessment) and after the course for the long essay. During the course there is an opportunity to discuss both the assessments and the feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain major developments in the ideas, institutions, and products of science in world history
  2. Apply contextual and comparative perspectives to scientific knowledge and practices from disparate times and places
  3. Discuss how scientific knowledge and practices relate to their wider political, economic, social, and cultural contexts
  4. Critically evaluate the use of historical evidence in historical argument
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsScience,Technology,Ancient,Classical,Medieval,Early Modern,Modern,Cross-Disciplinary
Course organiserDr Michael Barany
Tel: (0131 6)50 9096
Course secretaryMr Alexander Dysart
Tel: (0131 6)51 5197
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