STS 202

Science, Technology, and Society II: Since 1800

Students in this course analyze the development of the physical and biological sciences throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, paying special attention to the reciprocal relationship between scientific developments and their social influences. Beginning with the social and intellectual upheaval of the French Revolution and working through the first half of the twentieth century, this course surveys natural scientists' landmark discoveries and interpretations and examines the intellectual, social, natural, and personal influences that helped shape their work. Subjects of the course include Newtonianism, creationism, natural theology, evolution, the origin and demise of electromagnetic worldview, Einstein and the development of the theories of relativity, scientific institutions and methodologies, quantum mechanics, the atomic theory, molecular biology, big science, and modern genetics. STS 202 is meant as a complement to STS 201, but the prior course, while recommended, is not a prerequisite.