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Indiana University Bloomington



Spring 2019


HPSC-X102 Revolutions in Science: Plato to Nato
J Neumann
Class #6740
04:00P-05:15P MW BALL 209

Are there revolutions in science? Is science ‘progressive’? If so, who is responsible for this progress? In this course, we will address these and related questions through a critical introduction to the history of science. We will discuss traditionally recognized revolutions from the Neolithic to the Einsteinian with especial focus on their social and intellectual contexts. In addition to the who, what, and where, we will also focus on the how and why: e.g., how have discoveries been made? why did they have the particular character they had? Ultimately, the goal of this course is to understand the complicated nature of long-term changes in scientific knowledge, and how various factors played (and continue to play) a role in these changes. No background is expected.


HPSC-X111 Issues in BIOL-Medical Ethics
E Arnet
Class #10899
05:45P-07:00P MW SE 010

Investigation of ethical issues that arise in the biological and medical sciences, the impact of these issues on the behavior of scientists during the conduct of scientific research, and on the role of science in discussions about ethics and public policy. The course will focus on specific cases and debates arising from and within biology and medicine, and in related fields such as ecology or clinical psychology. The course will provide an introduction to critical reasoning in ethics and an overview of major ethical theories. No prior background is required.


HPSC-X123 Perspectives Sci: Social & Hist- Title: Gold, God, and Secrets: The Strange History of Alchemy
W Newman
Class #32986
Second Eight Week
02:30P-05:00P TR SY 103

Have you ever wondered if there was anything to alchemy, or if it was nothing but mumbo jumbo designed to entrap the unwary and extract their gold? Did you know that some of the greatest scientists of history were also alchemists, including Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton? Or that Boyle, the “father of modern chemistry,” thought that he could attract angels by means of the alchemical philosophers’ stone? “Gold, God, and Secrets” will deal with all these topics and more in the often strange but always fascinating history of this obscure field, long considered an outlier in the history of science but now given a central place its chronological development.


HPSC-X123 Perspectives Sci: Social & Hist- Title: Science and the Public
J Schickore
Class #33313
02:30P-3:45P MW SB 015

Modern scientists are highly trained experts working at specialized research institutes or universities. But science is not confined to the laboratory. Scientific culture and knowledge are incorporated in the common culture in many ways. Scientific knowledge allows us to solve practical problems and helps us to make informed decisions. Scientists communicate the results of their work to public audiences, the media report on science and scientists, and sometimes scientific ideas spur controversy. Politicians, lawyers, and other professionals draw on, and sometimes seek to restrict scientific activity. Citizen scientists without a formal science background give time, effort, and resources to collaborative scientific inquiry. This course explores how scientists interact with public audiences, how the public engages with scientists and consumes scientific information, and how the relation between science and the public has changed over time. The course is not discipline-specific, but intended for any student in the sciences and in the humanities. A science background is not required.

HPSC-X200 Scientific Reasoning: Measurement, Meaning, and Manipulation: How Humans and Data Shape Each Other
R Jackson
Class #29600
Second Eight Week
02:30P-05:00P MW SE 140

How we measure matters. From the time we're born, until the day we die, we are subject to a wide variety of metrics: from your height and weight and heartbeat, to your SAT scores and personality type and economic status. Measurement is how we predict what's next, evaluate what works, and improve our quality of life and the precision of our knowledge. Yet, measurement also has a complicated history of abuse and misuse, and has often been used as a tool to manipulate or oppress. This course will dive into the reasoning behind both historical and current examples of measurement from physics, biology, psychology, medicine, and social sciences.  Assignments for this course will consist primarily of short papers and small projects pertaining to readings, with a self-selected final project which will further develop one of these short assignments into a substantial paper or work.


HPSC-X200 Scientific Reasoning
J Cat
Class #35129
Second Eight Week
02:30P-05:00P TR AC C107

Scientists, politicians, administrators and the lay public pay attention to scientific claims and controversies. For instance, is some substance really harmful to our health? For different reasons, we all benefit from reaching informed opinions and informed decisions. You might be the victim or beneficiary of someone’s opinions and decisions. We must first try to understand the claims and then take a critical look at the claims and at any reasoning and procedures behind them. In the best cases, the evidence is never conclusive. The results can always be revised in light of new evidence, better experimental designs and alternative hypotheses. In order to assess and interpret data and to produce and evaluate hypotheses, scientists apply a variety of methods. Different methods may have different goals and limitations; some limitations are methodological, others are practical, others ethical or legal. In this course we will examine and discuss questions such as, Why accept any scientific claim? How do scientists produce hypotheses and evaluate them? What kinds of hypotheses are there and what are they good for? How do scientists produce, collect and evaluate empirical data, big or small? Do scientists produce and use only numerical data? How do they present quantitative data visually? Can they reason with pictures as well as with numbers? How do they use data as evidence for hypotheses? Why do scientists care about hypotheses that concern a group of individuals that is larger than the ones we actually observe, test and want to deal with? How can a group of different subjects in a study help establish more general results? Aren’t all individuals different, anyway? What’s so special about hypotheses about causal links? How do experimental designs reflect the causal character of such hypotheses? Are all kinds of experimental designs equally useful? Are there different levels of strength of evidence? What can go wrong?


HPSC-X207 Occult in Wesstern Civil
W Newman
Class #10898
09:30A-10:45A TR PV A201

This class provides an introduction to the history of medicine from the Hippocratic Oath in ancient Greece to the 20th century. We will discuss major features of the medical world, including: transformations in anatomy and physiology, such as the discovery of the circulation of the blood and the role of microscopy; changing concepts of disease and therapeutic practices culminating with the germ theory of disease, cellular pathology, and the new understanding of cancer; shifts in institutional settings, from the bedside to the hospital and the rise of the laboratory. The course would be of interest to all students with an interest in a career in the medical professions (broadly conceived) and also to students interested in history and the life-sciences. There are no pre-requisites to take the class. This course meets requirements for IUB GenEd S&H credit and COLL (CASE) S&H Breadth of Inquiry credit.


HPSC-X229 Hist & Phil of Modern Physics
O Pessoa Jr.
Class #35128
Second Eight Weeks
09:30A-10:45A TR MN BA322

This course explores issues in the philosophy of classical physics, with brief incursions into quantum mechanics and special relativity. Topics include: What’s the definition of physics? Realism x antirealism. Philosophy of mathematics. The nature of time. Is space absolute or relative? Determinism and probability. Optics and photons. Philosophy of electromagnetism. Irreversibility and statistical mechanics. Maxwell’s demon and molecular motors. Reduction x emergence. Reading material will cover texts from Newton, Mach, Maxwell, Planck, Einstein, Wigner, P.W. Anderson, and others.

HPSC-X305 Hist & Phil of Medicine
E Lloyd
Class #13582
Second Eight Week
08:00A-10:30A TR GA 1134

We will study the history of medicine from the time of the Greeks to the 20th C. through reading the biographies of influential doctors, and at the same time study issues in contemporary public health and medicine, all taken from contemporary sources provided on Canvas. Our topics will include the issues of genetic diseases and predispositions: What does it mean to say that a person “has a gene for” heart disease or breast cancer? What are the medical and social ethics of smoking, alcohol use, and eating right? Are we completely free to choose these behaviors? Should we disallow large soft drinks? Other topics include the AIDS/HIV case as a modern crisis in public health, the effects of stress, declining sperm counts, defining mental illness, and whether vaccines are dangerous. Finally, we will consider new, emerging challenges to medicine and public health. Texts include: Nuland, Sherwin Doctors: The Biography of Medicine (1988) Vintage Books. Canvas Readings

HPSC-X308/X632 History of Biology
S Gliboff
Class #32668
02:30P-03:45P MW MO 228

The term “biology” was first used at the turn of the nineteenth century to distinguish a new “scientific” or “philosophical” approach to the study of life, distinct from natural history, natural theology, and medicine. But what did it mean to be scientific—either just then or for the ensuing two hundred years? Biology has continually transformed itself, in keeping with changing ideals, ideas, institutions, and instruments. This undergraduate seminar focuses on key individuals 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 infrastructure, or changing the social role of the biological scientist. There are no formal prerequisites, but knowledge of modern biology or modern European or American history will be helpful. The class meets together with the graduate-level X632 for discussion, but has different requirements.

HPSC-X340/X540 Scientific Methods - How science really works: Historical and philosophical perspectives on scientific method
J Schickore
Class #31740
02:30P-05:00P T MO 228

Scientific knowledge is often taken to be reliable because it arises from the use of “the scientific method”. But it is by no means easy to explicate what “the scientific method” is and what the distinct rules and procedures are that make the pursuit of knowledge scientific. This course introduces students to philosophical and historical debates about scientific methods. We will begin with the history of the concept “scientific method” itself: when and why did it emerge, what roles did it play in science, and how did it change over time? We then follow key debates about the idea of scientific method. We trace debates about questions such as:Is there one distinctive “scientific method” in science, are there many methods, or should we be skeptics about method? Are there methods of discovery? What role should the method of hypothesis play in science? The last part of the course will focus on specific methodological issues related to experimental research. We will examine historical and philosophical aspects of experimental control, replication, negative results, risk, and failure. 

HPSC-X451/X551 Scientific Understanding Reasoning
E Lloyd
Class #9364
09:15A-11:15A W MO 228

We will review some of the most influential texts and figures of Anglo-American philosophy of science in the 20th-21st Century, aiming to give both undergraduate and graduate students a strong background in the key positions and issues that serve as the background of the field today. Students will read, study, discuss, and write about popular as well as controversial figures such as Karl Popper, Thomas S. Kuhn, Carl Hempel, N.R. Hanson, Imre Lakatos, Helen Longino, Bas van Fraassen, Ernst Nagel, Carol Cleland, Nancy Cartwright, Ian Hacking, and others. The syllabus for the course is oriented around topics for each week, and while the reading list is not long, the students are expected to read each selection three times before seminar meets. Class requirements involve weekly writings, seminar presentations, and a term paper on a choice of assigned topics (this last requirement is for the graduate students only). The emphasis in this seminar is on sympathetic, fair interpretations of author’s writings, respectful and deep discussion of the philosophical issues, and the development of responsible criticism. We usually also have lots of fun in this seminar.

HPSC-X501 Professional Development
L Savion
Class #9031
12:00P-01:00P TR MO 228

This one credit seminar for beginning HPSC graduate students is designed to provide theoretical and pragmatic foundations for teaching in a variety of educational environments in higher education. Students will investigate their identities as teachers, understand the cognition of learning, correlate instructional techniques with tasks, and enrich their teaching abilities and satisfaction. Course topics include: course development, course portfolio, motivation, learning styles and theories, cognitive aspects of concept acquisition and retention, how to deal with prevalent naive misconceptions, active learning devices, multiple-facet assessment techniques, and diversity. Class projects include several short application papers, discussion exercises, individual and group presentations, and micro-teaching.

HPSC-X705 Sp Topics in the Hist Of Science- Title: The Cultural History of Astrology.
W Newman
Class #31714
11:30A-01:30P W MO 228

As Aby Warburg, Erwin Panofsky, and other scholars whose work spans the history of science and art have shown, astrology long formed one of the central themes of concern to European and Islamic intellectuals. Astrology was arguably one of the first “applied sciences,” linking the empirical research and abstract theorizing of astronomy to the world of practical results. From providing the basis for planting crops to predicting the outcomes of battles, weather, and individual fates, astrological expertise permeated many aspects of medieval and Renaissance life. At the same time, the zodiacal signs, decans, and planets served an important role in the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, providing visual topoi for manuscript illuminations, panel paintings, frescos, and encoded natal charts found in the ceilings of various Renaissance villas. Astrological themes also permeate the history of literature, ranging from the polyvalent work of Geoffrey Chaucer up to the satirical output of Jonathan Swift. The present course will begin by providing the basic astronomical information necessary to understand astrological material and then pass to a discussion of these themes in late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period.

HPSC-C104 Crit Approaches: Social & Hist
J Cat
Class #7148
2:30P-03:20P MW GA 0001
Discussion Friday Sessions
7796 01:25P-02:15P F ED 1250
7798 01:25P-02:15P F MO 112 Cat J
7797 02:30P-03:20P F HU 111
7799 02:30P-03:20P F MO 112

Course Details TBD.

HPSC-C104 Genetics and Eugenics
S Gliboff
Class #10769
10:10A-11:00A MW BH 310
Discussion Friday Sessions
11658 10:10A-11:00A F WH 203
29445 10:10A-11:00A F RA B109
11659 11:15A-12:05P F RA B109
29446 11:15A-12:05P F TE F104

This course is a history of heredity, of scientists’ visions for creating permanent improvements to the human body and mind, and of the interplay between scientific visions and social and political realities. It will show how developments in the laboratory not only helped to inspire social and medical programs but in turn also drew inspiration from them. Topics will include Gregor Mendel and his goal of modernizing agriculture through better plant- and animal breeding; the eugenics and racial-hygiene movements and their ideas about breeding better humans; classical genetics and proposals for its practical use in medicine; and finally the rise of molecular genetics and its real and promised applications. The course will introduce students to social and historical inquiry generally, to modern European and American History, and, especially, to the history of science as a discipline. It will also give students experience in locating and critically reading different kinds of historical sources, especially scientific papers and monographs from different time periods, newspaper and magazine articles, and secondary accounts by historians.