HSCI/HMED Course Catalog


Course Number Course Title Instructor Course Description When Offered
HSCI 1011 Digital World Honghong Tinn Essential knowledge and critical perspective to understand today's Digital World. The history and social impact of the digital revolution, including security, surveillance, "virtual reality," and the future of the Internet. 3 credits. Spring
HSCI 1212 Life on Earth: Origins, Evolution and Ecology Susan D. Jones How have people explained where life came from and how it has developed over time? We examine controversies over life's origins, the Holocene extinction, human population growth, the Dust Bowl and soil conservation, DDT and falcon repatriation, as well as disease and responses to pandemics. Evolution; natural theology; ecosystems. 4 credits.  Spring
HSCI 1585 Mammoths, Minerals, Monoculture: History of Earth and Environmental Sciences Anna Graber

This course investigates the many ways people across the globe have sought to understand the environment and the earth from antiquity to the present. We will study the context in which the modern earth and environmental sciences emerged, asking throughout the semester what knowledge traditions contributed to the development of the sciences we know today. Three intersecting themes: the questions of geological time and of change in the study of the earth; human use of natural resources in industry and agriculture; and understandings of the earth and environment as a global system. 3 credits.

HSCI 1714/3714 Stone Tools to Steam Engines. Jennifer Alexander; Mary Thomas (night) How technological differences between nations influenced their different courses of development, and why some societies seemed to advance while others did not, from prehistoric stone tool societies, through ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, the explosion of Islam, and the dynamic and often violent technologies of medieval Europe. 3 or 4 credits depending on when offered. Fall and/or Spring; sometimes offered as a night class
HSCI 1715/3715 History of Modern Technology: Waterwheels to the Web Jennifer Alexander; Mary Thomas (night) How have people changed their worlds through technologies like steam engines and electronics? How have technologies of war remade the global landscape?  We explore how business and government have effected technological entrepreneurs, and consider tensions between technologies and environment. 3 or 4 credits depending on when offered. Fall and/or Spring; sometimes offered as a night class
HSCI 1814/3814 Making Modern Science: The Babylonians to Newton Victor Boantza Development and changing nature of the sciences in cultural and intellectual contexts. Babylonian and ancient Greek science; decline and transmission of science in the Middle Ages; the Scientific Revolution from Copernicus to Newton. 4 credits. Fall
HSCI 1815/3815 Making Modern Science: Atoms, Genes, and Quanta Michel Janssen How scientists like Darwin and Einstein taught us to think about nature, everything from space, time, and matter to rocks, plants and animals. 4 credits. Spring
HSCI 3211 Biology and Culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries Mark Borrello We explore the development of the biological sciences from the 19th century naturalist tradition to the experimental, quantitative science of the 20th century.  The course will focus on the areas of evolutionary biology, genetics, molecular biology and developmental biology among others. 3 credits. Fall
HSCI 3242 Navigating a Darwinian World Mark Borrello In this course we grapple with the impact of Darwin's theory of evolution in the scientific community and beyond. We'll examine and engage the controversies that have surrounded this theory from its inception in the 19th century through its applications in the 21st. What made Darwin a Victorian celebrity, a religious scourge, an economic sage and a scientific hero? We'll look closely at the early intellectual influences on theory development; study the changing and dynamic relationship between science and religion; and critically analyze the application of Darwin's theory to questions of human nature and behavior. 3 credits. Spring
HSCI 3244 Nature's History: Science, Humans, and the Environment Susan D. Jones We examine environmental ideas, sustainability, conservation history; critique of the human impact on nature; empire and power in the Anthropocene; how the science of ecology has developed; and modern environmental movements around the globe. 3 credits. Fall
HSCI 3331 Technology and American Culture Varies America, as a nation, has had a special relationship with technology growing out of an abundance of natural resources and a knack for innovation. In this course we will explore how Americans have developed technology and how that technology has influenced American society and history. 3 credits. Some summers
HSCI 3421 Engineering Ethics Jennifer Alexander Ethical issues in engineering research and engineers' public responsibility/practice, using historical cases; historical development of engineering as a vocation/profession; ethical implications of advanced engineering systems such as nuclear weaponry and networked communications. 3 credits. Spring
HSCI 3611 Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Rise of Modern Science Victor Boantza Understanding the origins of our own culture of Modern Science in the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. Newton’s ambiguous legacy, science as wonder and spectacle; automata and monsters; early theories of sex and gender; Frankenstein and the limits of science and reason. 3 credits. Spring
HSCI 4121W History of 20th-Century Physics  Michel Janssen This course covers the transition from classical to modern physics (relativity, quantum) and its architects (from Planck and Einstein to Heisenberg and Schrödinger); the WWII bomb projects in the US and Germany; post-war developments (solid state, particle physics). 3 credits. Spring
HSCI 4321 History of Computing Phil Barry Developments in the last 150 years: mechanical, electronic, digital and analog computing; science, commerce and cold war; software and AI; personal computing and the networked world; the "digital divide" and international issues. 3 credits. Fall
HSCI 4455 Women, Gender, and Science Anna Graber Three intersecting themes analyzed from 1700s to the present: women in science, sexual and gendered concepts in modern sciences, and impact of science on conceptions of sexuality and gender in society. 3 credits.

Some springs.

HSCI 5993 Directed Studies   To register for a directed study, contact the instructor you're interested in working with directly.  Fall/Spring
HSCI 5994 Directed Research  
To register for a directed research, contact the instructor you're interested in working with directly.  


History of medicine courses are listed under course code HMED. See offerings below. 

Course Course Title Instructor Course Description When Offered
HMED 3001W Health, Disease and Healing Jole Shackelford/Francesca Bortoletti Introduction to intellectual/social history of European/American medicine, health care from classical antiquity through 18th century. 4 credits. Fall
HMED 3040 Human Health, Disease, and the Environment in History Jennifer Gunn Introduction to historical relationship of human health and the environment. How natural/human-induced environmental changes have, over time, altered our experiences with disease and our prospects for health.  Spring
HMED 3055 Women, Health, and History Dominique Tobbell Women's historical roles as healers, patients, research subjects, health activists. Biological determinism, reproduction, mental health, nursing, women physicians, public health reformers, alternative practitioners. Gender disparities in diagnosis, treatment, research, careers. Assignments allow students to explore individual interests. 3 credits. Spring
HMED 3075 Technology and Medicine in Modern America Dominique Tobbell How technology came to medicine's center-stage. Impact on production of medical knowledge, professionalization, development of institutions/industry, health policy, and gender/race disparities in health care. Fall
HMED 3002W Healthcare in History II Jennifer Gunn Introduction to historical relationship of human health and the environment. How natural/human-induced environmental changes have, over time, altered our experiences with disease and our prospects for health. 4 credits. Spring
HMED 3993 Directed Study   Contact the instructor that you wish to work with directly. Fall/Spring
HMED 3940 Topics in History of Medicine Variable Search Schedule Builder for more information Fall/Spring