HPS3000: INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, MEDICINE, AND TECHNOLOGY: SOURCES, METHODS, AND APPROACHES

 

Thursdays, 12-2 pm at ?

Faculty: Nikolai Krementsov, Associate Professor

Office hours: Thursdays, 2-4 pm, at Vic # 312

e-mail: <n.krementsov@utoronto.ca>

Class Size: Cap of 20 students

Prerequisite: None

Exclusions: None

 

Summary

 

This graduate seminar offers an introduction to the history of science, medicine, and technology (HSMT). Through a close examination of classic texts and recent publications in the field, we will focus on sources, methods, and approaches in the practice of HSMT. We will explore the major genres—history of ideas, individuals, institutions, disciplines, and networks—as well as the main dimensions of analysis—intellectual, social, and cultural—employed in the field. The seminar will emphasize the development of skills essential to the profession—good writing, attentive reading, analytical thinking, concise presentation, academic debate, and historiographic and methodological knowledge. Each week, we will examine in depth a particular genre or level of analysis based on assigned readings and book presentations.

 

Objectives:

 

1.         To become familiar with a sample of recent and classic scholarship on the HSMT.

2.         To develop the ability to think critically about HSMT, its major genres, themes, and analytical practices, past and present.

3.         To become familiar with specific sources, methods, and approaches in the field of HSMT.

4.         To hone skills essential to the profession in oral presentation and debate, research, and writing.

5.         To learn how to analyze historical sources (texts, images, and artifacts).

 

 

Organization:

 

1. The romance of history and the historian as detective

2. The changing practices of history

3. The mystery of sources

4. The mastery of sources

5. The history of ideas ("internalism")

6. Social history ("externalism")

7. Comparative histories

8. Lives in science

9. Institutions and disciplines

10. Personal and professional networks

11. Practices and cultures

12. Society, politics, and the state

13. The big picture

 

The course is arranged into 13 two-hour seminars. Each seminar will be divided into two sections with a 10 minute break in between. The first section will be devoted to individual book reports, and the second to a general discussion. Each week, we will explore a particular genre or level of analysis. All students are expected to have read the assigned readings (usually two articles a week) and to participate actively in class discussion, including days when oral and written assignments are due. Every week, 3-4 students will each read and report in class on a book relating to the week's theme. In order to maximize coverage and exposure the course will rely heavily on these book reports. Depending on the size of the class, each student will have to read and report on 2 to 4 books during the semester (see below). Students are encouraged to have as many discussions with the instructor as they need during the office hours.

Due to the heavy reading load there will be no final paper, but there will be several oral and three written assignments:

 

1) Oral book reports: Each report should be carefully prepared and presented in 10-15 minutes. It should familiarize class members with the identity and background of the author, the book's subject, structure, and approach, and its central theme or argument, using carefully-chosen concrete examples, quotations, pictures, hand-outs, or diagrams, as appropriate. The purpose of reports is to set-up and frame discussion relating to the week's central topic. Before structuring their report, rapporteurs should read their book thoroughly and digest it in relation to the week's theme. Presenters should also bring copies of a one-page list of discussion points for the members of the class. Discussion points may include criticisms, disagreements, support, analysis of sources, and queries of the readings. For further suggestions on preparing a book report, see George Sarton, “Notes on the Reviewing Learned Books,” Isis, 1950, vol. 41, pp. 149-158 (available on-line through UofT Libraries).

Periodic—to be scheduled on the first day of class

 

2) Analysis of the readings: Each week every student will be required to hand in a 1-2 page paper analyzing the readings and raising two or three “big questions” relevant to the theme of class discussion. The paper should be analytical, not simply a summary of the readings.

Due at the beginning of class every week.

 

3) Analysis of sources: Each student will be required to produce a three to five page analysis of the sources for a research paper s/he prepares for another course. This is not an annotated bibliography, but an analysis of various classes (primary and secondary) and types (texts, images, artifacts) of available sources, their relative importance for the research paper, their benefits and shortcomings.

Due at the beginning of class on week 6.

 

4) Interpretation of a particular source.  Each student will complete a three to five page analysis of a particular primary source for a research paper s/he prepares for another course. The source could be an archival document, a published work, an artifact, a memoir, an interview, or an image. The analysis must go beyond a simple description of the source’s contents to include an assessment of its significance for the research paper, its relation to other sources, its advantages and deficiencies, and the further questions it inspires.  

Due on the last day of class.

 

All written assignments must be handed to the instructor (no e-mail submissions will be accepted), printed, double-spaced, 12 pt font size.

 

 

The grading for the course will be distributed as follows:

 

Participation in class discussions                                    20%

Weekly papers (12 total)                                             20%

Book reports in class (2-4 total)                                    20%

Analysis of sources                                                       20%

Interpretation of a source                                              20%

 

 

SESSION 1: THE ROMANCE OF HISTORY AND THE HISTORIAN AS DETECTIVE

 

Readings:

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (any edition)

A. S. Byatt, Possession (any edition)

 

SESSION 2: THE CHANGING PRACTICES OF HISTORY

Readings:

Carl L. Becker, “Everyman His Own Historian” American Historical Review, 1932, vol. 37, pp. 221-36; on-line

Mary P. Winsor, "The Practitioner of Science: Everyone Her Own Historian." JHB, 2001, vol. 34 (2), pp. 229-245; on-line

 

Reports:

Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft [1953] (New York: Vintage, 1964).

E. H. Carr, What is History? (New York, 1962)

Anthony Grafton, The Footnote*: A curious history (Harvard University Press, 1997).

 

SESSION 3:  THE MYSTERY OF SOURCES: MANUSCRIPTS, PUBLICATIONS, IMAGES, AND ARTIFACTS

(this session might be held at the UofT archives)

Readings:

Thomas S. Jerome, “The Case of the Eyewitness: A lie is a lie, even in Latin,” in Robin W. Winks (ed.), The Historian as Detective (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), pp. 181-91.

Paul Weindling, “Research methods and sources,” in Pietro Corsi and P. Weindling, eds, Information Sources in the History of Science and Medicine (London: Butterworth, 1983), pp. 157-171.

C. E. Perrin, “Document, Text and Myth: Lavoisier’s Crucial Year Revisited,” British Journal for the History of Science 22 (1989), pp. 3-25.

 

Reports:

Guide to Biomedical Collections of the American Philosophical Society (on line)

Guide to the Collections of the Rockefeller Archive Center (on line)

Guide to the Manuscript collections of the US National Library of Medicine (on line)

 

SESSION 4: THE MASTERY OF SOURCES: INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS

Readings:

Jorge Luis Borges, "Tlan, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote,” “The Library of Babel,” “The Garden of Forking Paths,” in idem, Ficciones (any edition)

Jerome Bylebyl, “Interpreting the Fasciculo Anatomy Scene,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 45, 3 (1990), pp. 285-316, on line.

 

Reports:

Brian S. Biagerie, ed., Picturing Knowledge (University of Toronto press, 1996).

Peter Galison, Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (University of Chicago Press, 1997).

Nikolai Krementsov, The Cure (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

 

SESSION 5: THE HISTORY OF IDEAS ("INTERNALISM")

(analysis of the sources for a research paper is due)

Readings:

Nikolai Krementsov, “Th. Dobzhansky and Russian Entomology: The Origin of His Ideas on Species and Speciation,” in Mark B. Adams, ed., The Evolution of Theodosius Dobzhansky: His Life and Thought in Russia and America (Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 31-48.

Adrian Wilson, “On the History of Disease-Concepts:  The Case of Pleurisy,” History of Science 38 (2000), pp. 271-318.

 

Reports:

Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being (Harper, 1960).

Alexandre Koyre, From Closed World to Infinite Universe (Peter Smith, 1984)

Thomas Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1980).

I. B. Cohen, The Birth of a New Physics (any edition).

 

SESSION 6: SOCIAL HISTORY ("EXTERNALISM")

Readings:

Boris Hessen, “The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia,” in Science at the Crossroads (London: Cass & Co., Ltd., 1931/1971), pp.151-212.

Steven Shapin, “Discipline and Bounding:  The History and Sociology of Science as Seen Through the Externalism-Internalism Debate,” History of Science 30 (1992), pp. 333-369.

 

Reports:

Robert K. Merton, Science, Technology, and Society in 17th-Century England (any edition)

Bruno Latour, Laboratory Life: The Social construction of scientific facts (Sage Publications, 1979)

Steven Shapin and Simon Shaffer, The Leviathan and the air-pump (Princeton University Press, 1989).

Charles Rosenberg, No Other Gods: On Science and American Social Thought (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997).

 

SESSION 7: COMPARATIVE HISTORIES: NATIONAL STYLES, IDEOLOGIES, AND CULTURES

Readings:

Jonathan Harwood, “National Styles in Science: Genetics in Germany and the United States between the World Wars,” Isis, 1987, 78 (3), pp. 390-414; on-line.

Garland E. Allen, “Mechanism, vitalism and organicism in late nineteenth and twentieth-century biology: the importance of historical context,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, 2005, vol. 36, pp. 261–283; On-line

 

Reports:

Mark B. Adams, ed., The Wellborn Science (Oxford University Press, 1988)

Paul Josephson, Totalitarian Science and Technology (Humanities Press, 1996).

Mark Walker, ed., Science and ideology (Routledge, 2002)

Shigehisa Kuriyama, The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (New York: Zone Books, 2002).

 

SESSION 8: LIVES IN SCIENCE:  ISSUES IN BIOGRAPHY

Readings:

Thomas Hankins, “In Defense of Biography:  The Use of Biography in the History of Science,” History of Science 1979, vol. 17, pp. 107-40.

“Biography in the history of science,” Isis, 2006, vol. 97, pp. 302-329; on-line.

 

Reports:

Frederic L. Holmes, Lavoisier and the chemistry of Life (University of Wisconsin Press, 1987).

Gerald Geison, The Private Science of Louis Pasteur (Princeton University Press, 1995).

Bruno Latour, The Pasteurization of France (Harvard University press, 2005).

Janet Brown, Voyaging (New York: Knopf, 1995).

 

SESSION 9: INSTITUTIONS AND DISCIPLINES

Readings:

Charles Rosenberg, “Toward an Ecology of Knowledge: On Discipline, Context, and History,” in idem, No Other Gods: On Science and American Social Thought (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), pp. 225-39.

Ilana Lowy, “The strength of loose concepts—Boundary concepts, federative experimental strategies and disciplinary growth: the case of immunology,” History of Science, 1992, vol. 30, pp. 371-396.

Paul Weindling, “Scientific elites and laboratory organization in fin de siècle Paris and Berlin: the Pasteur Institute and Robert Koch’s Institute for Infectious Disease compared,” in Andrew Cunningham and Perry Williams (eds.) The Laboratory Revolution in Medicine (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 170-188.

 

Reports:

Charles Rosenberg, The Care of Strangers: The Rise of America’s Hospital System (New York: Basic Books, 1987).

Robert E. Kohler, Partners in Science: Foundations and Natural Scientists, 1900-1945, (University of Chicago Press, 1991).

Lily E. Kay, The Molecular Vision of Life: Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the

Rise of the New Biology (Oxford University Press, 1993).

Daniel P. Todes, Pavlov’s Physiology Factory (John Hopkins University Press, 2002).

 

SESSION 10: NETWORKS: PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL

 

Readings:

Mark B. Adams, Networks in Action (Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures & Societies, 2000) (35 pp.)

Rolv P. Amdam, “Professional networks and the introduction of research in the British and Norwegian pharmaceutical industry in the inter-war years,” History and Technology, 1996, vol. 13, no. 2, 101-14.

Jean-Paul Gaudilliere, “Molecular biologists, biochemists, and messenger RNA: the birth of a scientific network,” Journal of the History of Biology, 1996, vol. 29, 417-45; on-line.

 

Reports:

Diana Crane, Invisible Colleges (University of Chicago Press, 1972).

Gary Werskey, The Visible College (New York: Holt, 1978).

Thomas Parke Hughes, Networks of Power (John Hopkins University press, 1983).

Nikolai Krementsov, International science between the world wars (Routledge, 2005)

 

SESSION 11: PRACTICES AND CULTURES: TOOLS AND ARTIFACTS

Readings:

Jan Golinski, “The Theory of Practice and the Practice of Theory: Sociological Approaches in the History of Science,” Isis, 1990, vol. 81: 492–505; on-line.

Hughes Evans, “Losing Touch: The Controversy Over the Introduction of Blood Pressure Instruments into Medicine,” Technology and Culture 1993, vol. 34, pp. 784-807; on-line.

 

Reports:

Andrew R. Pickering, ed., Science as Practice and Culture (Chicago University Press, 1992).

Adele E. Clarke and Joan H. Fujimura, eds., The Right Tools for the Job: At Work in Twentieth Century Life Sciences (Princeton University Press, 1992).  

Robert Kohler, Lords of the Fly (University of Chicago Press, 1994).

W. F. Bynum, Science and the practice of medicine in the nineteenth century (Cambridge University Press, 1994).

 

SESSION 12: SOCIETY, POLITICS, AND THE STATE

Readings:

Susan Lederer, “Political Animals: The Shaping of Biomedical Research Literature in Twentieth Century America,” Isis 1992, vol. 83, pp. 61-79; on-line.

Ronald E. Doel, Dieter Hoffmann, and Nikolai Krementsov, State Limits on International Science: A Comparative Study of German Science under Hitler, Soviet Science under Stalin, and U.S. Science in the Early Cold War,” Osiris, 2005, vol. 20, pp. 49-76. On-line

 

Reports:

Joseph Ben-David, The Scientist's Role in Society (Prentice Hall, 1971).

Peter Kuznick, Beyond the Laboratory (Columbia University press, 1977).

Ute Deichman, Biologists Under Hitler (Harvard University press, 1996).

Nikolai Krementsov, Stalinist Science (Princeton University Press, 1997).

 

SESSION 13: THE BIG PICTURE: REVOLUTION, EVOLUTION, AND BEYOND

Readings:

Mark B. Adams, “From ‘Gene Fund’ to ‘Gene Pool’: On the Evolution of Evolutionary Language,” Studies in the History of Biology, vol. 3, edited by William Coleman and Camille Limoges (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), pp. 241–285.

I. B. Cohen, “Revolution, evolution, and emergence in the development of modern science,” History and technology, 1987, vol. 4, pp. 183-211.

Jonathan Hodge, “Against ‘Revolution’ and ‘Evolution’.” Journal of the History of Biology, 2005, vol. 38, pp. 101-21, on-line.

 

Reports:

Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (any edition).

Derek J. de Sola Price, Little science, big science and beyond (Columbia University press, 1983).

Paul Starr, The Social Transformation of American Medicine (Basic Books, 1982).

George Basalla, The Evolution of Technology (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

Thomas J. Misa, Leonardo to internet: technology and culture from the Renaissance to the present (John Hopkins University Press, 2004).