From automobiles and computers to immunizations and genetically modified foods, science, technology, and medicine permeate our lives and lifestyles. This course helps you think critically about the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine and their implications for the choices you must make in modern life. We will explore questions such as:
- How have culture and politics affected the goals, designs, and uses of a range of technologies?
- How has science been shaped by society, and vice-versa?
- What is the role of science in democratic societies?
- How have science and medicine helped to create and maintain social categories such as gender, race, or intelligence?
- How can history help us understand contemporary responses to issues such as the AIDS epidemic, the energy crisis, and/or climate change?
Reading: 80-120 pages/week, mostly available on CTools.
Writing: short reactions to the weekly reading; 2 papers, 4-6 pages each.
Exams: two in-class exams; no final.
We welcome and encourage students with interest in the humanities, the social sciences, the sciences, and engineering. You do NOT need to be a History concentrator or an RC student to enroll.