This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Archived Versions

STS.003 The Rise of Modern Science

As taught in: Spring 2008

Collage of four images.

From left: National Einstein Memorial, Washington D.C., by Robert Berks (Photo courtesy of Dan Smith); painting of Louis Pasteur by Albert Edelfelt (1886); Charles Darwin ape charicature (Hornet Magazine, 1871); portrait of Monsieur de Lavoisier and his wife, chemist Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, by Jacques-Louis David (1788). (Images courtesy of Wikipedia.)




Dr. Slava Gerovitch

Course Features

Course Description

This course studies the development of modern science from the seventeenth century to the present, focusing on Europe and the United States. Key questions include: What is science, and how is it done? How are discoveries made and accepted? What is the nature of scientific progress? What is the impact of science on society? What is the impact of society on science? Topics will be drawn from the histories of physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and medicine.


This class is based on the one originally designed and taught by Prof. David Jones. His Spring 2005 version can be viewed by following the link under Archived Courses on the right side of this page.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .ogg.