HIST 2089 - History of Science, Technology and Medicine

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

Many great discovery moments in science have become embedded in popular culture - think of the apple hitting Newton on the head, Archimedes' Eureka moment when he jumped out of the bath, and Darwin's insight into evolution by natural selection via his voyage to the Galapagos. But these stereotypes fail to capture the complexities inherent in the process of learning about our natural world using methods which we now describe as 'science'. They also fail to interrogate the ways in which science has shaped, and in turn been shaped by, sociocultural, political, and economic forces throughout history. This course examines the relationship between the production of scientific knowledge and its broader sociocultural contexts. In particular, this course explores how science has influenced our understanding of what it means to be human: our place in nature and in the universe, and the nature of matter, life, and death. Students will investigate key episodes in the history of science, technology, and medicine in depth to gain an understanding of the relationship between science and power throughout history, and also to reflect on the implications of this history for our contemporary views on science and our privileging of it as a form of knowledge production.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HIST 2089
    Course History of Science, Technology and Medicine
    Coordinating Unit History
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Course Description Many great discovery moments in science have become embedded in popular culture - think of the apple hitting Newton on the head, Archimedes' Eureka moment when he jumped out of the bath, and Darwin's insight into evolution by natural selection via his voyage to the Galapagos. But these stereotypes fail to capture the complexities inherent in the process of learning about our natural world using methods which we now describe as 'science'. They also fail to interrogate the ways in which science has shaped, and in turn been shaped by, sociocultural, political, and economic forces throughout history. This course examines the relationship between the production of scientific knowledge and its broader sociocultural contexts. In particular, this course explores how science has influenced our understanding of what it means to be human: our place in nature and in the universe, and the nature of matter, life, and death. Students will investigate key episodes in the history of science, technology, and medicine in depth to gain an understanding of the relationship between science and power throughout history, and also to reflect on the implications of this history for our contemporary views on science and our privileging of it as a form of knowledge production.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Rachel Ankeny

    Lecturer and Tutor (Tuesday workshop): Dr Jessica Loyer
    Tutor (Wednesday workshops): Ms Kelly McKinley
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate knowledge of broad concepts in the history of science, technology and medicine ranging over time, space and cultures
    2 Recognise the values of a wide range of methodologies, conceptual approaches and the impact of competing narratives within the history of science, technology and medicine
    3 Identify, locate and analyse relevant primary and secondary sources in order to construct evidence-based arguments
    4 Think independently and critically, using appropriate methodologies and technologies to engage with problems in the history of science, technology and medicine
    5 Communicate effectively, in a range of written, spoken, and other formats, using appropriate conventions
    6 Contribute proactively to group-based activities
    7 Proficiently use contemporary technologies
    8 Demonstrate academic rigour and a sensitivity to cultural and other diversity, and understanding of the ethical implications of historical and scientific enquiry within a global context
    9 Develop a critical, self-reflective approach to the study of the history of science, technology and medicine based on respect and mutual responsibility
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3,4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    5,6,7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    8
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    9
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resources for this course are reading lists, web-links, library resources, essay writing guides, study guides, referencing guides that will be made available through Canvas.
    Online Learning
    Course outlines and learning guides will be available on Canvas when enrolment opens. Announcements within Canvas will be used when needed. Reading recommended for each lecture and workshop will be made available to students within Canvas a week before the lecture and workshops. Lecture recordings will be made available after the lecture. Other online content relevant to each lecture and workshop, for example quizzes, weblinks etc will be made available at the commencement of the workshop or lecture.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course has been designed on the basis of themes (rather than chronologically) to allow students to explore a number of key topics within the history of science, technology and medicine with some depth, and the ability to compare and contrast the sociocultural and other factors influencing each topic across different time periods. Each topic includes 1 lecture and a 2 hour workshop. The workshop will include time for reflection on the lecture, and an activity involving Small Group Discovery Experience (SGDE) that will vary according to the topic. Each workshop will also involve time for students to reflect on the activity, building towards an assessment task and/or sharing what they learned with their peers.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    STUCTURED LEARNING
    1 x 1-hour lecture per week (12 hours per semester)
    1 x 2-hour workshop per week (24 hours per semester)

    SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING
    6 hours reading/preparation for classes per week (72 hours per semester)
    2 hours research per week (24 hours per semester)
    2 hours assignment preparation per week (24 hours per semester)
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics
    Week 1 What is the History of Science?
    Week 2 Laws of Motion
    Week 3 Understanding the Heavens
    Week 4 Experiment in the Renaissance
    Week 5 The Scientific Revolution
    Week 6 The Human Body
    Week 7 Collecting and Classifying
    Week 8 Evolution and The Origin of Species
    Week 9 Physiology and Experimental Organisms
    Week 10 Theories of Disease
    Week 11 Genetics and DNA
    Week 12 Science and the Military-Industrial Complex
    Specific Course Requirements
    Some activities may involve local field trips at no extra costs to students, for example the SA Museum, Museum of Economic Botany etc. These will be scheduled during workshop time.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery experience will be integral to this course and facilitated by the move to workshops from tutorials. Students will work in groups of 5-6 during the activities.

    Week 1. How do ‘science textbooks’ represent the history of science?
    Week 2. Re-enacting experiments: limits and prospects
    Week 3.Instrumentation: curate a scientific instrument
    Week 4. Instrumentation continued.
    Week 5. What is a ‘scientist’? Portrayals of scientists then and now
    Week 6. Art and the history of science
    Week 7. Taxonomy of everyday objects
    Week 8. Evolution in Public (SA Museum)
    Week 9. What can we learn from model organisms?
    Week 10. Media analysis – Diseases in the news
    Week 11.Eureka! Discovery accounts in science
    Week 12. Science and Ethics

    The activities will be facilitated by mentors who are experienced academics and typically will involve orientation to the task, allocation of tasks within the group, group research and collation of ideas, working towards either a journal entry/reflective piece (for participation assessment), formative assessment or summative assessment.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    1. Workshop participation (following electronic submission of a journal entry/reflective piece based on the SGDE activity) Formative or Summative

    On the day of the activity

    10% 1-9
    2. Artefact review/interpretive panel (based on “Instrumentation” SGDE activity) Summative End of week 4 20% 3,5,6,7
    3. PowerPoint with script (based on “what is a scientist? SGDE activity) Summative End of week 5 20% 1-8
    4. Blog post examining science (particularly medical science, drawing on “Diseases in the news” SGDE activity) has been communicated through history Summative End of week 10 20% 1-8
    5. Essay examining how “History of Science” is used in contemporary contexts (following on from “discovery accounts” SGDE activity but drawing on preceding activities also) Summative End of week 11 30% 1-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    N/A
    Assessment Detail
    1. Workshop participation: Students will be required to submit a journal entry/reflective piece based on the activity for eight of the ten workshops at the end of week 12 combined into one document for summative assessment (approx 100 words x 8 weeks = 800 words - 10% weighting)
    2. Artefact review/interpretive panel: Groups will be allocated a scientific instrument in week 3 and will explore the purpose/function of the instrument, provenance etc and prepare an interpretive panel similar to that used in Museums. In week 4 students will display their instruments and panels (includes peer assessment) (500 words – 20% weighting, peer mark accounts for 50% of this assessment, 10% overall)
    3. Powerpoint with script: Students prepare a powerpoint presentation with a script and narrate their response to “What is a Scientist?” within both historical and contemporary contexts. Students will add the narration as audio to accompany the powerpoint. (800 words, 20%)
    4. Blog post: Students will examine how science, in particular medical science, has been communicated to the public through history (800 words, 20%)
    5. Essay: Students will explore how the “History of Science” is used in contemporary science issues. Students will nominate a topic by week 6 and will finalise the essay after the “Discovery Accounts” activity (1000 words, 30%)
    Submission
    All assignments are to be submitted via Turnitin within Canvas.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.