Simon R. E. Werrett
Growth of modern science since the Renaissance, emphasizing the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, the development of methodology, and the emergence of new fields of interest and new modes of thought.
This is a general introduction to the history of the sciences from 1650-1850, with an emphasis on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The course will explore key developments in astronomy, physics, natural history, and chemistry during this period, considering key figures such as Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Franklin, Priestley and Lavoisier. Lectures will follow developments chronologically, but will stress important themes such as the history of natural magic; instruments and experiment; gender in science; science and imperialism; science and the public; and science and industrialization. Throughout, attention will also be given to the rich cultural and historical contexts within which the modern sciences emerged.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
No prerequisites. This is an introductory course, so no background knowledge of history of science will be assumed, though relevant studies or interests will be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
The class meets five times a week, four times for lectures and once for discussion. There will be one midterm examination, two five-page essay papers, and a final examination. Reading will be from assigned text-books, a packet of xeroxes, and material in the library.