Science and Society in Historical Perspective

2019-2020

Course Objective

To increase understanding of the various interactions between
mathematics, chemistry, physics, (medical) biology, computer and earth
sciences (in general: science) and society during the last two
centuries.

Course Content

In the last two centuries science has become one of the prime agents in
the shaping of modern society. In turn social and political concerns
have been equally instrumental in the shaping of the modern scientific
enterprise. In this course we will study the changing relationship
between science and society in this period in various case studies and
from several points of view. We will use literature and source material,
most notably (journal and film) advertisements, and the cartoon journal
Punch to illustrate these cases. The following themes are addressed:
professionalization, science and the public (e.g. the public
understanding and appreciation of science); Science as product and agent
of modernity (e.g. quantification and standardization as applied to
nature and society); Science and politics (e.g. science policies,
military and commercial interests, science and ideology), science and
education.

Teaching Methods

Seminar.

Method of Assessment

Active participation during the seminar, essay and presentation and a
short exam on the topics addressed during the classes.

Entry Requirements

Bachelor degree

Literature

available in Canvas

Target Audience

Master students in the sciences who enjoy history or (historical)
reflection on their field of subject, as well as master students in
history, who want to acquire more understanding in the role of science
in society.

Additional Information

More information with the course coordinator: Afdeling Algemene Vorming,
De Boelelaan 1081, kamer U252, d.j.beckers@vu.nl

General Information

Course Code X_400424
Credits 6 EC
Period P4+5
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. D.J. Beckers
Examiner dr. D.J. Beckers
Teaching Staff dr. A.C. Flipse
dr. D.J. Beckers

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: