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
Class Size: Cap of 20 students
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.
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).
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,”
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
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (any edition)
A. S. Byatt, Possession (any edition)
SESSION 2: THE CHANGING PRACTICES OF HISTORY
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
Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft  (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)
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.
Guide to Biomedical Collections of the American Philosophical Society (on line)
Guide to the
Collections of the
Guide to the
Manuscript collections of the
SESSION 4: THE MASTERY OF SOURCES: INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS
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.
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
SESSION 5: THE HISTORY OF IDEAS ("INTERNALISM")
(analysis of the sources for a research paper is due)
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
Adrian Wilson, “On the History of Disease-Concepts: The Case of Pleurisy,” History of Science 38 (2000), pp. 271-318.
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")
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.
Robert K. Merton, Science,
Technology, and Society in 17th-Century
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
“National Styles in Science: Genetics in
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
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 (
SESSION 8: LIVES IN SCIENCE: ISSUES IN BIOGRAPHY
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,”
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 (
Janet Brown, Voyaging (New York: Knopf, 1995).
SESSION 9: INSTITUTIONS AND DISCIPLINES
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.
Weindling, “Scientific elites and laboratory organization in fin de siècle
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
Mark B. Adams, Networks in Action (
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.
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
Jan Golinski, “The Theory of Practice and the Practice of
Theory: Sociological Approaches in the History of Science,”
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.
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
Susan Lederer, “Political Animals: The Shaping of Biomedical
Research Literature in Twentieth Century America,”
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
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
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.
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).