The History of Science and Technology

from Newton to the Present Day

A Course Syllabus


Unit 1:

"The Eighteenth Century" -- Science from 1687 to 1787

Jan. 22 - Introduction: Science and Technology in History

Jan. 24 - Science and Society in 1687 Readings: Marks, Part 1, pp. 1-8; chap. 3.5, pp. 78-86

Jan. 27 - Newton and Newtonianism Readings: Marks, chap. 3.4, pp. 65-77

Jan. 29 - Philosophy and Science in the Enlightenment Readings: Marks, chap. 4.1, pp. 87-102; Hankins, ch. 1, pp. 1-16

Jan. 31 - The Perfection of Mathematics and Mechanics Readings: Hankins, pp. 17-36 in chap. 2

Feb. 3 - The Theory of Light and the Perfection of Astronomy Readings: Mason, chap. 25, pp. 289-301; Hankins, pp. 37-45 in chap. 2

Feb. 5 - The Steam Engine and the Concept of Heat Readings: Mason, chap. 23, pp. 269-278; Hankins, pp. 72-80 in chap. 3

Feb. 7 - The Revolution in Chemistry Readings: Mason, chap. 26, pp. 302-313; Marks, pp. 144-152 in chap. 4.5; Hankins, chap. 4, pp. 81-112

Feb. 10 - The New Science of Electricity Readings: Hankins, pp. 46-72 in chap. 3

Feb. 12 - New Theories of Life and Growth Readings: Hankins, pp. 113-145 in chap. 5

Feb. 14 - The Discovery and Classification of the Natural World Readings: Mason, pp. 331-342 in chap. 28; Hankins, pp. 145-152 in chap. 5

Feb. 17 - The Great Chain of Being and Early Ideas of Evolution Readings: Bowler, chap. 3 to p. 81 (p. 76 in 1st ed.)

Feb. 19 - The Beginnings of the Social Sciences Readings: Mason, chap. 27, pp. 314-330; Marks, chap. 4.2, pp. 103-116; Hankins, chap. 6, pp. 158-190

Feb. 21 - First take-home exam due


Unit 2:

"The Nineteenth Century" -- Science from 1787 to 1887

Feb. 24 - Science and Society in 1787 Readings: Marks, chap. 4.3, pp. 117-128

Feb. 26 - The Industrial Revolution Readings: Marks, chap. 4.4, pp. 129-143; pp. 186-200 in chaps. 4.9 & 4.10

Feb. 28 - The Changing Structure of Science and Technology Readings: Mason, chap. 35, pp. 435-448

Mar. 3 - Revolutions in Mathematics

Mar. 5 - Discoveries and Inventions in Astronomy

Mar. 7 - A Revolution in Optics: the Wave Theory of Light Readings: Mason, chap. 37, pp. 468-473

Mar. 10 - The Theory of Electricity and Magnetism Readings: Mason, chap. 38, pp. 474-485; Marks, pp. 170-173 in chap. 4.7

Mar. 12 - Atoms, Molecules, and Modern Chemistry Readings: Mason, chap. 36, pp. 449-467 & chap. 41, pp. 513-526; Marks, pp. 152-155 in chap. 4.5

Mar. 14 - Theories of Heat and Energy Readings: Mason, chap. 39, pp. 486-502; Marks, pp. 165-170 in chap. 4.7 & pp. 251-256 in chap. 6.2

Mar. 17-21 Spring vacation, no lectures Read: Kuhn, chaps. I-V

Mar. 24 - A New Image of Nature and Man Readings: Mason, chap. 29, pp. 349-362; Bowler, ch. 4

Mar. 26 - The Discovery of the Earth and of Fossils Readings: Mason, chap. 33, pp. 395-411; Marks, chap. 4.6, pp. 156-164; Hankins, pp. 151-157 in chap. 5; Bowler, chap. 2

Mar. 28 - The Rise of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology Readings: Mason, chap. 31, pp. 374-386; pp. 342-348 in chap. 28; Bowler, chap. 3

Mar. 31 - The Early Development of the Idea of Evolution Readings: Bowler, Chap. 5

Apr. 2 - The Darwinian Theory of Evolution Readings: Mason, chap. 34, pp. 412-434; Marks, chap. 4.8, pp. 174-185; Bowler, chaps. 6 & 7

Apr. 4 - The Impact of Darwinism Readings: Bowler, chaps. 8 & 10

Apr. 7 - The New Science of Biology Readings: Mason, chaps. 32, pp. 387-392 & chap. 30, pp. 363-373

Apr. 9 - The Rise of Scientific Medicine Readings: Marks, chap. 6.5, pp. 294-310

Apr. 11 - Second take-home exam due


Unit 3:

"The Twentieth Century" -- Science from 1887 to 1987

Apr. 14 - Science and Society in 1887 Readings: Kuhn, chaps. VI-VIII Marks, chap. 6.1, pp. 240-250

Apr. 16 - The Discovery of the Atom and of Relativity Readings: Mason, chap. 43, pp. 541-548; Marks, chaps. 6.2 & 6.3, pp. 256-275

Apr. 18 - Smaller and Smaller: Quantum and Particle Physics Readings: Mason, chap. 44, pp. 549-563; Marks, chap. 6.6, pp. 311-323

Apr. 21 - Larger and Larger: The Discovery of the Universe Readings: Mason, chap. 45, pp. 564-577; Marks, pp. 338-348 in chap. 6.8

Apr. 23 - The Second and Third Industrial Revolutions Readings: Mason, chap. 40, pp. 503-512; Marks, chap. 8.3, pp. 453-463

Apr. 25 - Statistics and the New Social Sciences Readings: Marks, chap. 6.7, pp. 324-337 Read: Kuhn, chaps. IX-XIII

Apr. 28 - The Mechanisms of Life and Thought Readings: Mason, chap. 42, pp. 529-540

Apr. 30 - Genetics and the Modern Theory of Evolution Readings: Marks, chap. 6.4, pp. 276-293; Bowler, chaps. 11-12

May 2 - The Keys to Life: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

May 5 - A New View of the Earth Readings: Marks, pp. 348-356 in chap. 6.8 May 7 - Third take-home exam due May 13 - Final exam