History and Philosophy Of Science | Frankenstein to Einstein
X110 | 30859 | James Capshew


Science plays a large part in the modern world, from the way we
understand the physical universe to the creation of technological
products that serve our health and happiness. Science, and its twin,
technology have a dark side, however, generating new problems as
they solve old ones. The course will explore how scholars
conceptualize the scientific enterprise, its history and cultural
context, over the past two centuries. Our approach will be
biographical in nature, concentrating on several scientific figures
and their cultural images. The aim is to increase your literacy of
science studies through learning some tools of critical analysis.

The course will weave together various source materials (articles,
books, poetry, film), both fictional and non-fictional, to sustain
an ongoing class conversation. We will begin with the career of
Victor Frankenstein, the mad scientist from Mary Shelley’s
imagination, and deal in turn with the actual historical figures of
Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, B. F. Skinner, Alfred Kinsey, and
Rachel Carson. Readings and other assignments will be given in class.