History and Philosophy Of Science | History of the Biomedical Sciences
X355 | 25814 | Jutta Schickore

History of the biomedical sciences

Today, scientific investigations of life and disease take place in
big research labs. Biology, medicine, chemistry, and physics are now
inextricably intertwined in the study of normal and abnormal bodily
functions. Scientists collaborate in large-scale experiments, using
highly complicated instrumentation and image-making technologies to
expose and examine molecular structures, the basis of life
All this is in fact a product of recent developments. The biomedical
sciences as we know them emerged during the past two centuries.
Indeed the very notion that life, disease, and heredity depend on
organic processes on the subvisible level, which are accessible only
though lab technology and experiment, took shape in the nineteenth
century. This course traces how the late eighteenth-century worlds
of medicine and natural history evolved into the modern biomedical
sciences. We study the key questions that occupied the researchers
in the 19th and early 20th century and explore how new practices,
technologies and institutions helped shape the modern scientific
approach to life and disease. Topics include: Medicine and the five
senses; Nature’s design and animal morphology; the microscope and
the cellular revolution; germs, disease and purification; breeding
pigeons, crossing peas: the development of evolutionary theories;
genetics from the perspective of the fruit fly; the evolutionary