HISTORY 522: SCIENCE IN THE MODERN WORLD
In the last two centuries, science has had a great impact on the culture of the Western world and the lives of its people. In this course, we study selected aspects of this important historical process. We shall focus on the legacy of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, the origins of new theories of the earth and the evolution of life, the work of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, and the growth of modern physics and the life sciences in the twentieth century. Study of these topics will enable us to understand how scientific thinking has profoundly influenced culture and society. This is a history course, requiring skills of reading and writing; but it also demands a willingness to get to grips with scientific ideas.
Instructor: Professor Jan Golinski Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: Horton 404 Phone: 862-3789
Classes: T R 2.10-3.30 p.m. Horton 304
Office hours: T 11.00-12.00, W 2.00-3.00, and by appointment.
Instructor’s web page: http://www.unh.edu/history/golinski/index.html
Required Books (available from UNH Bookstore and Durham Book Exchange):
Joe Jackson, A World On Fire: A Heretic, An Aristocrat, and the Race to Discover Oxygen (Penguin, 2005, ISBN: 978-0-14-303883-2.)
Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus, Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey (Chicago, 2005, ISBN: 0-226-06861-7.)
Peter J. Bowler, Evolution: The History of an Idea (3rd ed., California, 2003, ISBN: 0520236939.)
Duncan M Porter and Peter W. Graham, eds., The Portable Darwin (Penguin, 1993, ISBN: 0140151095.)
James D. Watson, The Double Helix (New American Library, 1991, ISBN: 0451627873.)
This class will make use of the electronic Blackboard system to distribute readings and images, and for other communications. This is a required, not optional, part of the class. You must make sure you can access the class pages on the Blackboard system as soon as possible, and check them regularly for announcements. You should choose your own password to make it secure. Also, if you want email to go to another address than your UNH account, please change the email address on the Blackboard system. If you have not used Blackboard before, start with the page “10 Steps to Getting Started with Blackboard” (http://www.unh.edu/ blackboard/gettingstarted.html). I can give you a paper copy of this, if you wish. Other questions can be answered by the FAQ page: http://www.unh.edu/blackboard/faqs.html, or you can get help from the staff at the Academic Commons in Dimond Library.
Some of the documents we will use will be in HTML format, but others may be Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word documents. To read these, if you don’t have the program on your computer, you can download a viewer (see the FAQ page for information about how to do this).
Students needing disability accommodations should contact UNH Disability Services for Students, 118 Memorial Union Building (603-862-2607) as soon as possible. Students who are already registered and wish to receive accommodations in this course should share their accommodation letter with me at the beginning of the semester. All information regarding disabilities is confidential.
There will be three in-class tests (on 2 October, 8 November, and 6 December) and one take-home final essay (due on 18 December, in the week after classes end). Participation in the four discussions is also a required part of the course and will count toward your final grade. You are expected to bring to class the texts being discussed.
In addition, one research paper (6-8 pages) will be required. This will involve reading beyond the sources assigned for the class as a whole, using books in Dimond Library and/or sources on the Internet. You will be required to submit a proposal for the research paper by 23 October, and then the deadline for the final paper will be 27 November. Late submission of papers will be penalized, as will bad spelling or grammar. Papers must be submitted in printed form, not electronically.
More information about the requirements for the paper and grading standards will be given out later. I shall also hand out questions for you to use when preparing for class discussions.
How your grade will be calculated:
15% for each of the three tests (45% total)
+ 10% for the take-home final essay
+ 5% for participation in each of the four discussions (20% total)
+ 5% for the research proposal
+ 20% for the research paper
= 100% TOTAL.
Stern warning about plagiarism:
In this class, a zero-tolerance approach will apply to infringements of academic honesty, including any cases of plagiarism. A penalty of failure in the course as a whole will be applied. This is consistent with the university policy on these issues. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please ask me or refer to the handbook, Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, pp. 41-43 (available on the web at: http://www.unh.edu/student/rights/srrr0607.pdf).
4 Sep Introduction to the course.
6 Sep The Origins of Modern Science
Reading: Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, chap. 2.
11 Sep Science and the Enlightenment
Reading: Jackson, World on Fire, chaps. 1, 2, 3; Kinnersley document on Blackboard.
13, 18, 20 Sep Physical Science in the Age of Revolutions
Reading: Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, chaps. 3, 4, 17; Jackson, World on Fire, chaps. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
25 Sep FILM: “Optimum.”
27 Sep DISCUSSION #1: assigned questions on Jackson, Kinnersley, and Bowler and Morus.
2 Oct TEST #1.
4, 9, 11 Oct The History of the Earth and Living Things
Reading: Bowler, Evolution, chaps. 2, 3, 4; Paley and Chambers texts on Blackboard.
16 Oct DISCUSSION #2: assigned questions on Paley and Chambers.
18 Oct NO CLASS: Reading Day
RESEARCH PROPOSALS DUE, 23 OCTOBER.
23, 25 Oct The Life and Work of Charles Darwin
Reading: Portable Darwin, pp. vii-xv, 26-39, 194-215, 322-340.
30 Oct, 1 Nov The Debate over Darwinism
Reading: Bowler, Evolution, chaps. 6, 8.
6 Nov DISCUSSION #3: assigned questions on Portable Darwin.
8 Nov TEST #2.
13 Nov NO CLASS: Monday schedule at UNH.
15, 20, 27 Nov Einstein and the Birth of Modern Physics
Reading: Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, chaps. 11, 20; Einstein readings on Blackboard.
22 Nov NO CLASS: Thanksgiving.
RESEARCH PAPERS DUE 27 NOVEMBER.
29 Nov, 4 Dec Biology in the twentieth century.
Reading: Bowler, Evolution, pp. 260-273, chap. 9; Watson,
The Double Helix.
6 Dec TEST #3.
11 Dec FILM: “Double Helix.”
TAKE-HOME EXAM QUESTIONS TO BE GIVEN OUT.
13 Dec DISCUSSION #4: assigned questions on Watson.
18 Dec TAKE-HOME EXAM DUE.