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Making Science: The Role of Scientific Thought in Modern American Culture

Chris Young
Assistant Lecturer, Masters in Liberal Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
phone: 298-9138
office: by appointment, Brewed Awakenings coffee shop on Brady St.

Course Requirements:
You will write a one-page commentary on readings each week. This will be emailed to the instructor and two classmates by 8 p.m. on Tuesday. During one week, you will write a 2-3 page commentary, which will serve as a point of departure to lead discussion with two other classmates for that week. A midterm essay examination will include a choice of questions, which you will have one week to answer. You will determine a topic (expansion of a commentary) and write a 10- to 12-page essay, a draft of which will be due near the end of the term, allowing time for evaluation and rewriting. Alternative final projects will be considered, such as lesson plans, business plans, and action plans, provided they include substantial research and consideration of the topics of this course. Consult with the instructor to determine an appropriate scope of work.

Course Grading:
Participation in discussions (weekly) 20%
Commentaries (weekly) 20%
Out of class discussion/Group work 10%
Leading discussion 10%
Midterm essays 10%
Final essay/project 30%

Dialogue around Written Work
As indicated above, you will submit your commentaries not only to the instructor but also to a few classmates. This is meant to broaden the audience for your ideas and help you reflect on the readings and your reaction to them. As an instructor, I hope this will help you to do more than look for "right" answers or try to make impressive insights for my sake. The structure of this dialogue will probably change as we move through the semester. You will also submit parts of your final essay or project to one or two classmates for comments.

Schedule (Revised): Date/Week; Topics; Assigned reading to be completed before class
Make a first and second choice for which panel you would like to participate on.
Panel members will be determined on September 18; first panel is October 2.

September 4 (Week 1)
Introduction: Meanings of Science, the Role of Science, Ancient Science

September 11 (Week 2)
Ancient and Medieval Science
Bowler, pp. xv-xvii, 1-84
Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution, in course reader, pp. 1-25
Lindberg, "Medieval Science," in Constructing Knowledge, pp. 60-79
Kuhn, pp. v-xii, 1-42 (recommended)
Brush, "Scientists as Historians," in Constructing Knowledge, pp. 214-231 (recommended)

September 18 (Week 3)
Scientific Revolution
Bowler, pp. 84-192
Ashworth, "Natural History," in course reader, pp. 303-332
Shea, "Galileo and the Church," in course reader, pp. 113-135
Kuhn, pp. 43-135 (recommended)

September 25 (Week 4)
Darwinian Revolution
Bowler, pp. 193-361
Darwin, On the Origin of Species, in course reader, pp. 80-130
Paul, pp. 22-39

October 2 (Week 5), Panel I
Topics in 20th Century Science
Bowler, pp. 379-427
Keller, "Gender and Science," in Constructing Knowledge, pp. 26-38
Kevles and Geison, "Experimental Life Sciences," in Constructing Knowledge, pp. 97-121.
Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, in course reader, pp. 13-28
Kuhn, pp. 136-210 (recommended)
Richards, "History of Mathematics," in Constructing Knowledge, pp. 122-135 (recommended)

October 9 (Week 6), Panel II
Managing Nature
Bowler, pp. 361-378, 503-553
Taylor, "Making Salmon," in course reader, pp. 33-59
Mitman, "When Nature Is the Zoo," in course reader, pp. 117-143

October 16 (Week 7), Panel III
Midterm examination handed out (take-home)
Ecology and the Atom
Bocking, "Ecosystems, Ecologists, and the Atom," in course reader, pp. 1-47
Klingle, "Plying Atomic Waters," in course reader, pp. 1-32
Hagen, An Entangled Bank, in course reader, pp. 100-121

October 23 (Week 8)
Midterm examination due
Ecology in Context
No readings assigned

October 30 (Week 9), Panel IV
Mendelian Genetics and the Evolutionary Synthesis
Bowler, pp. 428-502
Paul, pp. 1-39
Allen, "Naturalists and Experimentalists," in course reader, pp. 179-209

November 6 (Week 10), Panel V
Eugenics and the Human Genome Project
Paul, pp. 40-135
Fujimura, "Transnational Genomics," 71-92
Warner, "History of Science and the Sciences of Medicine," in Constructing Knowledge, pp. 164-193 (recommended)

November 13 (Week 11), Panel VI
The Discovery of DNA and the emergence of Molecular Biology
Allen, Life Science, in course reader, pp. 187-228.
Beatty, "Genetics in the Atomic Age," in course reader, pp. 284-324
Watson, The Double Helix, excerpts (recommended)

November 20 (Week 12)
Controversies: Biotechnology and Disease
Kitcher, Lives to Come, in course reader, pp. 13-22, 65-86

November 27 (Week 13)
Draft of final essays due
Discussion of essay topics: round table

December 4 (Week 14)
Controversies: Pollution and Environmental Destruction
Odum, Ecological Vignettes, in course reader, pp. 41-58

December 11 (Week 15)Last class. Rewrite of final essays due December 18.
Controversies: Climate Change and the Future
McKibben, End of Nature, in course reader, pp. xv-xxv, 3-46

Course Texts

Peter Bowler, The Earth Encompassed: A History of the Environmental Sciences, (Norton, 1992).
Diane Paul, Controlling Human Heredity, (Humanities, 1995).
Arnold Thackray, ed., Constructing Knowledge in the History of Science, Osiris, Volume 10, (University of Chicago, 1995).
LibSt 721 Course Reader (see Bibliography below)

Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed., (University of Chicago, 1970; 1962). Recommended reading only.

Course Reader Bibliography
  1. Garland E. Allen, "Naturalists and Experimentalists: The Genotype and the Phenotype," Studies in History of Biology, 3 (1979): 179-209.
  2. Garland E. Allen, Life Science in the Twentieth Century, (John Wiley, 1975), 187-228.
  3. William B. Ashworth, "Natural History and the Emblematic World View," in David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westman, eds., Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, (Cambridge University, 1990), 303-332.
  4. John Beatty, "Genetics in the Atomic Age: The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, 1947-1956," in Keith R. Benson, Jane Maienschein, and Ronald Rainger, eds., The Expansion of American Biology, (Rutgers University, 1991), 284-324.
  5. Stephen Bocking, "Ecosystems, Ecologists, and the Atom: Environmental Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory," Journal of the History of Biology, 28 (1995): 1-47.
  6. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, Facsimile of the First Edition (Harvard University: 1964; 1859), 80-130.
  7. Joan Fujimura, "Transnational Genomics: Transgressing the Boundary between the 'Modern/West' and the 'Premodern/East'," in Roddey Reid and Sharon Traweek, eds., Doing Science + Culture, (Routledge, 2000), 71-92.
  8. Joel B. Hagen, An Entangled Bank: The Origins of Ecosystem Ecology, (Rutgers University, 1992), 100-121.
  9. Philip Kitcher, The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities, (Simon and Schuster, 1997), 13-22, 65-86.
  10. Matthew W. Klingle, "Plying Atomic Waters: Lauren Donaldson and the 'Fern Lake Concept' of Fisheries Management," Journal of the History of Biology, 31 (1998):1-32.
  11. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought, (Harvard University, 1957), 1-25.
  12. Bill McKibben, The End of Nature, 10th Anniversary Ed., (Random House, 1999), xv-xxv, 3-46.
  13. Gregg Mitman, "When Nature Is the Zoo: Vision and Power in the Art and Science of Natural History," Osiris, 11 (1996): 117-143.
  14. Eugene Odum, Ecological Vignettes: Ecological Approaches to Dealing with Human Predicaments, (Harwood, 1998), 41-58.
  15. Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, (Simon and Schuster, 1988), 13-28.
  16. William R. Shea, "Galileo and the Church," in David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science, (University of California, 1986), 114-135.
  17. Joseph E. Taylor III, "Making Salmon: The Political Economy of Fishery Science and the Road Not Taken, Journal of the History of Biology, 31 (1998): 33-59.
Also Recommended: James Watson, The Double Helix, available in various editions at most bookstores.

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