|Semester and Year||SP 2013|
|Time||11:00 AM - 12:15 PM|
Prerequisite IDSEM-UG 1519 or permission of the instructor. Course meets 1/29- 3/14 only.
This course examines various examples of how the conduct and context of science are framed by culture, and conversely, how science shapes culture. Which models proffered by various historians, philosophers, cultural anthropologists, and sociologists can begin to explain this relationship? The first portion of this course addresses how scientific knowledge was intricately intertwined with religious and political knowledge during the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. The next section illustrates how important developments in thermodynamics (or the physics of work and waste) led to improvements in nineteenth-century musical instrument design and a change in musical aesthetics. Similarly, we shall discuss how twentieth-century technological and scientific developments in fin-de-siècle Europe and the U.S. directly led to new artistic expressions and aesthetics. The final third of the course looks at how the content of scientific and technological knowledge associated with “Big Science” from World War II to the present owes much to the development of national defense in the case of physics and to venture-corporate capitalism in the case of molecular biology. Rather than simply stay at the level of case studies, we shall continually test the various models, which attempt to explain the complex and historically contingent relationship between science and culture Finally, the course will force students to think about related issues, such as the history of objectivity and the differences and similarities between science on the one hand, and the social sciences and humanities on the other. Readings include: Newton, Jackson, Kursell, Riskin, Brain, Kevles, and Weinberg. This interdisciplinary seminar may be used to fulfill the science requirement.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)