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This course will study the development of modern science from the seventeenth century to the present, focusing on Europe and the United States. It will not focus on discoveries and their discoverers. Instead, it will examine: What is science? How has science been practiced, and by whom? How are discoveries made and accepted? What is the nature of scientific progress? What is the impact of science and society? What is the impact of society on science? Topics will be drawn from the histories of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, medicine, psychology, and computer science.


All readings are required and must be completed before section each week. Attendance and active participation in the discussion sections is mandatory; students will take turns leading the discussions each week. There are three required papers, each roughly 2000 words (6-8 pages).

Final grades will be based on:

Paper 1 10%
Midterm 15%
Paper 2 20%
Paper 3 20%
Participation 15%
Final Exam 20%