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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Science, Technology, and Society (S T S)

S T S 123 (GH) History of Science II (3) A history of science and culture from the scientific revolution to the present.

S T S (HIST) 123 History of Science II (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

The purpose of this course is to explore the earliest developments in science, beginning with the prehistoric roots of technology and theories of human origins, followed by an engagement with the achievements of the Mayans, Aztecs, and native North Americans. We then turn to science and technology in the ancient Greek Egyptian worlds, followed by an analysis of early Chinese and East Indian science, medieval science in Europe, selected African sciences, and the rise of modern science in the Scientific Revolution and beyond. The point of the course is to show that science is a world tradition with an ancient history, and that many social, political, cultural, and economic forces can push or pull this peculiar form of knowing in one direction rather than another. There are other history of science courses offered at Penn State, but none treats the history of science in general in relation to its social context and influences. Other history of science courses are more thematic than survey courses (e.g., "History of Mathematics" and "History of Gender in Science and Archaeostronomy"). HIST 122, "History of Science I," treats science from Stonehenge to the scientific revolution. Students may take either course alone or out of sequence; the first will not be a prerequisite for the second. The expectation is that students will combine knowledge acquired in this course with knowledge from their required general education courses in science to develop a broader understanding of history and science. HIST/S T S 123 may be used to fulfill a requirement for the History major and the History minor and it is an essential part of the recently proposed science and technology history theme within the Science, Technology and Society minor. Students will learn historical techniques for the objective evaluation of readings and the formulation of clear and valid responses. Students' grades will be formed from a combination of a midterm and a final. Students are also required to do a paper for the class, the topic being subject to the approval of the instructor.

General Education: GH
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Fall 2014

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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