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History of Science

Days and Time: Wednesday, 10.00-12.30


Outline of the course:

The course is structured around several episodes in the history of systematic ideas, and the emphasis will be on conceptual change.  The lectures are grouped into three parts:


Part I

 * Genesis of Systematic Ideas: Science in Ancient Greece

 1. Against mythological explanations to natural phenomena (Thales to  Anaximenes)

 2. Early Atomism (Heraclitus, Perminides and early Atomism)

 3. Mathematical Atomism (Pythagoras and Plato)

 4. Against Atomism (Aristotle)

 5. Method of Analysys and Synthesis (Pappus and Euclid)

 6. Beginning of Mathematical Physics, Statics (Archimedes)

 7. Apology (Multicultural Origins of Science)


Part II

* Renaissance and Scientific Revolution

 1. Galileo (Marriage of Mathematics, Experiment and Physics)

 2. Mechanization of World Picture (Descartes, Newton and Leibniz)

 3. From Alchemy to Chemistry (Boyle, Priestley, Levoiser)

 4. From natural history to evolutionary history (Linnaeus, Buffon, Lamarck, Darwin )

 5. From natural numbers to complex numbers ( the story of Algebra )

 6. Physiology to Cell Biology


Part III

* Rise of Experimental Science

 Several of the great experiments that were adjudged by historians of  science as crucial experiments will be discussed.  Since some of them are part of their school science, emphasis

 will be on analyzing the conceptual change that took place while  discussing the episodes, rather than on details of the  experiment.


 These experiments will be discussed based on presentations by  students.  Some of the sample experiments are listed here.


 1. Digestion as Chemistry (William Beaumont)

 2. Circulation of Sap in Plants (Stephen Hales)

 3. Conditions of Imprinting (Konrad Lorenz) 4. Measurement of the Spring of the Air (Robert Boyle)

 5. The Preparations of Artificial Vaccines (Louis Pasteur)

 6. The Artificial Transmutation of the Elements (Ernest Rutherford)

 7. The laws of inheritance (Mendel)

 8. The Nature of Colours (Isaac Newton)

 9. The Identity of All Forms of Elecricity (Faraday)

 10. Perfection of Chemical Measurement (Berzelius)

 11. The Discovery of the Electron (J.J. Thomson)

 12. Physical Basis of Inheritance (Avery, McCarty, Hershey and Chase)

 13. Semeconservative Replication (Meselson and Stahl)



* Books and resources

 1. Cambridge Illustrated History of Science, by Colin Ronan

 2. Great Scientific Experiments: 20 experiments that changed our  view of the world by Rom Harre


For more details go to the link

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