Honors | History of Biology (HPSC)
X308 | 26525 | Sander Gliboff

W 9:00-11:30am

The term “biology” was first used at the turn of the nineteenth
century to distinguish a new “scientific” approach to the study of
life, distinct from natural history, natural theology, and
medicine.  But what did it mean to be scientific—then and for the
ensuing two hundred years—and how has biology maintained its
position within the changing world of the sciences? This seminar is
a survey of key figures and pivotal moments in the history of modern
biology, that have re-defined its scientific character, by either
opening new lines of inquiry and explanation, developing new kinds
of instruments, practices, and institutions, or changing the social
role of the biological scientist. All students will be expected to
read the assigned materials carefully, write a brief (1-2 page)
analysis and commentary on them every week, and to exchange
information and views constructively with other members of the
class.  One of the weekly essays is to be expanded into a longer
paper (10 pages), based on additional readings. Students enrolled
through the Hutton Honors College or graduate students enrolled
under course number X508 will be required to write a research paper
on a topic in the history of modern biology.