This course offers an introduction to the goals, methods and perspectives of the discipline of history. It intends to show how the development of science and technology can be understood historically and how the understanding of the interplay of science, technology and society can be enriched by knowledge of its history. The course does not offer a 'concise history of the rise of modern science and technology', but rather selects a series of themes and topics that highlight important historiographical issues. By looking at science and technology as fields of activity the content and configurations of which have changed over time, this course is valuable for two reasons. It teaches the virtue and necessity of being cautious about ahistorical, normative statements. And it prepares students for thinking about the culturally embedded dynamics of techno-science as it continues to develop into the future. Students participate in the course through critical reading, keeping a journal, in-class discussion and writing a small series of analytical/historiographical essays.
Contact: mw. dr. L.L. Roberts