History and Philosophy Of Science | Servants of the State?:Scientists and the State, 1600-2000
X100 | 7438 | Rebecca Willis


Scientists have often maintained a contradictory relationship to
the state: while they have often relied on the support and funding
which the government provides, they also want the government
to leave them alone.  This course will examine the relationship
between scientists and their respective state governments from the
seventeenth- through the late twentieth-century.  We will focus
on how rulers tried to integrate scientists into the governmental
apparatus, and how scientists responded.  The class will survey
the changing dynamics of this relationship by focusing on particular
episodes in European and American science.  The topics that will
be covered include: the transition from court patronage of science
to the founding of the Royal Society of London and the French
Academy of Sciences in the seventeenth century; the comparative
status of French science under the final years of the ancien regime,
the Revolution and Napoleon; the professionalization of science in
the nineteenth-century; the role of science and scientists in the
maintenance of empire; chemists during the First World War;
scientists under Hitler; the building of the atom bomb in Britain,
Germany and America; Stalin and Lysenko; and the emergence of
Big Science and the Space Race after WWII.