Topics in the History of Science

About the Course:

Research seminar selected from such topics as Babylonian astronomy, Greek science, Age of Newton, rise of modern physics, scientific instruments, nationalism/internationalism in science, science and society, sociology of science, public conceptions of science, organization and profession of science. (Offered periodically.)

Our focus will be the history of the relationship between technology, imagination, and the future—and how those intersected to create visions, forecasts, speculations, and actual courses of action. We start with the basic assumption – the future is contested territory, politically, morally, and culturally. How has the future been conceived in intellectual, political and popular thought? How have these visions been expressed in literature, cinema, architecture and forward planning? In this research seminar, you will read about and – more importantly – write about the variety of roles that prediction has played, and its changing expression and reception in wider culture. We will investigate how science and technology has historically shaped social ideas about the future and how those social ideas about the future influenced subsequent technologies. In short, we are considering how people in the past thought about, planned for, and worked toward specific futures. The final product of this two quarter seminar will be a research paper suitable for publication in an specific academic journal or which could serve as a chapter of your dissertation. 


No pre-requisites have been entered for this course.


View the course’s GauchoSpace page or the instructor’s page for documents: W. Patrick Aronova   W. Patrick McCray   

Schedule of Courses

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