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Archived Versions


Assignments for the class consist of weekly written responses to the readings, and two papers.

This page includes examples of student work.

Reading Responses

Reading responses guide (PDF)

The legacy of the scientific revolution
1 No assignment
Enlightenment science
2 The culture of experiment (PDF)
3 A new language of science (PDF)
The nineteenth century: organism and mechanism
4 Science and life (PDF)
5 Science, technology, and the human body (PDF)
6 Science and religion (PDF)
7 Midterm exam
Fin-de-siècle and the crisis of objectivity
8 Psychoanalysis and society (PDF)
9 Interpreting relativity (PDF)
Science and war
10 Physics and war (PDF)
11 Cold war science (PDF)
Genetics and society
12 Eugenics and social control (PDF)
13 Engineering life (PDF)
Science in the 21st century
14 No assignment



The following sample papers are presented courtesy of the students and used with permission.

Paper 1

Assigment: analyze and contextualize a primary source (PDF)

Exemplary student papers:

  • Hanselman, Jonathon. "Hermann von Helmholtz: Making and Promoting an Understanding of Energy Conservation" (PDF)
  • Semenkovich, Nick. "Tesla's Prescience." (PDF)

Paper 2

Assignment: compare two different cultural interpretations of the same scientific theory, concept, or principle (PDF)

Exemplary student papers:

  • McGraw-Herdeg, Michael. "China's Eugenics Law: Necessary Evil, Or Just Evil?" (PDF