History of Modern Science and Technology

Prior students’ comments: 2011  •  Syllabus (PDF)

Stevens HHS 479 / CAL 529  •  Fall 2011  •  Mondays 6:15pm–8:45pm

Advances in science and technology since the Renaissance have been extraordinary. In this course, we will survey those advances—in physics, industrial technology, chemistry, electricity, biology, social science, and medicine.

Of particular interest will be the methods that distinguish modern science. It is not just that Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Darwin, or Koch discovered things their predecessors did not, it’s that they went about their work in a way different from the way a scientist (or “natural philosopher”) in pre-modern times did. In watching these scientists at work, we want to understand their methods. We will find they were not all using “the scientific method” as we learn it today. What can they teach us about how best to pursue our own scientific, technological and engineering work?


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