Undergraduate Course: History of Science 1 (STIS08005)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Introductory survey of science in world history from ancient times to the present, focusing on the natural, social, and engineering 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 Western Medicine.
The course surveys science in world history from ancient times to the present, focusing on the natural, social, and engineering sciences in the modern West (including the pivotal history of science in Edinburgh) and their respective wider contexts while also interrogating the historical association between science and western modernity. 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, broadly construed to include aspects of engineering, mathematics, health, philosophy, theology, and other related subjects. 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.
The course has an open-ended design that supports a wide variety of student backgrounds and learning goals, whether you are looking to broaden your horizons, explore unfamiliar subjects, dig deeply into topics of special interest, or develop new skills in historical and social interpretation. Students have recently come from more than a hundred degree programmes and nearly every area of the university.
SEMESTER 2, 2022 DELIVERY INFORMATION: the course uses a combination of live and recorded sessions and independent learning activities, with as many opportunities for synchronous engagement as we can safely manage under university guidance. Tutorials are expected to be available. The exact structure and timing remains to be determined, but the course is intended to be highly flexible, so we encourage you to sign up if interested, even if there are potential scheduling or logistical issues.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| Available to all first and second year students, and any others provided this pre-honours course is compatible with degree programme requirements.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students are very welcome in this course, no pre-requisites.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 40,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessed by a portfolio submission including a variety of assignments engaging with and integrating course materials and themes, as well as a self-evaluation. Assessments will demonstrate student understanding of major themes and perspectives from the course as well as meaningful engagement with lectures and course readings. Submissions will be based on formative activities designed to support students' exploration of course themes and methods according to their goals and interests during the semester.
The assessment is structured to give a comfortable pathway to students from every degree area who are aiming for a passing mark (40-69), with a wide variety of options for students aiming to demonstrate distinction-level (70+) attainment. We want students from every part of the university and every combination of backgrounds and goals to be able to succeed and excel in this course.
||There will be regular opportunities for formative feedback on coursework during the term, primarily via tutorials and tutorial groups. The course organiser will be available for further discussion and feedback during the course.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain major developments in the ideas, institutions, and products of science in world history
- Apply contextual and comparative perspectives to scientific knowledge and practices from disparate times and places
- Discuss how scientific knowledge and practices relate to their wider political, economic, social, and cultural contexts
- Critically evaluate the use of historical evidence in historical argument
|The course reading list is regularly updated to include new resources and is available from the university resource list site. Students have extensive freedom to explore selections from the reading list that are meaningful for them.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Enquiry and lifelong learning; Outlook and engagement; Research and enquiry; Personal and intellectual autonomy.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||SEMESTER 2, 2022 DELIVERY INFORMATION: the course uses a combination of live and recorded sessions and independent learning activities, with as many opportunities for synchronous engagement as we can safely manage under university guidance. Tutorials are expected to be available. The exact structure and timing remains to be determined, but the course is intended to be highly flexible, so we encourage you to sign up if interested, even if there are potential scheduling or logistical issues.
|Course organiser||Dr Michael Barany
Tel: (0131 6)50 9096
|Course secretary||Mr Ethan Alexander
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001