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Lives in Science

Semester and Year FA 2015
Course Number IDSEM-UG1532
Section 001
Instructor Gene Cittadino
Days TR
Time 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SCI



What kinds of people are scientists? What can we learn by studying their lives? How, if at all, do scientific lives differ from other lives? Do scientists possess unique insights that justify their privileged position in our society? How has the relationship between scientists and society changed over time? This course explores the nature of science, its history, and its place in our culture through a selective study of the lives of scientists. Our main sources will be biographies and autobiographies: books, articles, obituaries. Emphasis will be placed on the process of the creation of scientific knowledge, the relationship between science and politics, economics, philosophy, and religion, and the dissemination and application of scientific knowledge. There will be some attention paid as well to issues involving women and minorities in the sciences, to scientific biography as a genre, and to studies of science as a profession. The cast of characters will be drawn from a variety of time periods and disciplines, from the early modern period to the very recent past, and may include Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Marie Curie, Lise Meitner, E. E. Just, James Watson, Rosalind Franklin, E. O. Wilson, Richard Feynman, and Stephen Hawking.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)