STS 340

Finding Order in Nature

What does it mean to live a scientific life? Historically, people have studied nature for many different reasons?to better understand humanity?s place in the universe, to assist in the production of food and medicine, to satisfy curiosity, etc.?and this knowledge and understanding of the natural world has evolved over time. Science reflects not only nature?s inner workings, but also social and cultural values and is shaped powerfully by what people want to see and know. This course examines how humanity found order and regularity in twentieth-century scientific studies and how and why people pursued that knowledge. Using a biographical approach, students develop a deeper appreciation for not only science, but also ?the ambitions, passions, disappointments, and moral choices that characterize a scientist?s life.?