History and Philosophy Of Science | Servants of the State
X100 | 7155 | Rebecca Willis

Servants of the State?: Scientists and the State, 1600-2000
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.