HHS 130EV: Fall 2008

A History of Science and Technology: HoST

Wed./Thurs. - 6:15 to 7:30 PM

Pierce 120

Daniel Newsome Presiding

Office: M333 (Pierce-Morton)

Consultations before class or by appointment

Email: hostf08@mifami.org



Class Policies          Web Project Page          eLibrary


Last Update: 12/11/08 7:21 AM

This is not a static page and should be refreshed frequently in order to see the most recent updated version.

Check with the Assignment links for details on the readings.  Please report any inconsistancies.




Assignment Links and Other Information



Intro and Creation

Assignment 0:  Intro and Genesis



Babylonian Cosmos

Assignment 1: Enuma elish and maybe some Gilgamesh – Visit Durer show.



Women, The Cave, and Math

Assignment 2: Pythagoras, Plato, numerism and numerology.

McClellan and Dorn: pp. 55-65.

Music Lab

Course package readings: Plato and Iamblichus



Greek Cosmos and Medicine

Assignment 3: Cosmology, Eratosthenes, Ptolemy, Galen, Lucretius I, …etc.

McClellan and Dorn: pp. 65-95.

Lucretius Book I

Course package readings: Navon, Newsome, misc.



Atoms and New Worlds

Assignment 4: Plutarch(?), Lucretius, and Ogygia

Lucretius Books II and III.



Atoms and Elements

Assignment 5: Lucretius, Medieval Natural Philosophy. 

Read Lucretius Book IV.

McClellan and Dorn: pp. 99-103 (part of Chapter 5)

Course package readings: Grant




Atoms and NeoPlatonic Aristotle

Assignment 6: Lucretius, Ibn Tufayl, Medieval Islamic Natural Philosophy

McClellan and Dorn: pp. 103-end of Chapter 5

Read Lucretius Book V.

Course package readings: Ibn Tufail and Grant



World Ag. 1a

Wed: First Exam

Assignment 7: Exam I, Corn, The French Disease

Read Lucretius Book VI

Course package readings: Pollan, Mann



World Agriculture 1b

Assignment 8: World Agriculture, Nitro-gen, manure, black powder

Read Bown: Chs 1-2.

Course package readings: Leigh

Presentations: Wed. –Erik Solan

Thurs. – Preethi Moorthy and Dante Smiriglio







Circles and quadratics

Assignment 9: Copernicus, Tycho, Kepler, Digges, Vesalius…

McClellan and Dorn: Chapter on Copernicus et al.

Course package readings: Kepler and Vesalius

Presentations: Amaro Hudson & Robert Ertz and Kyle Lazzaro



Motion and quadratics

Conic sections and quadratics

Assignment 10: Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, Boyle, and Hooke

McClellan and Dorn: Chapter 12 and 13 (11 and 12 in older editions), “The Crime…of Galileo” and “God said, …Newton…”

Course package readings: ??

Presentations: Carl Segen and Mitch Izower.  Both on Thursday.

Check out the Web Project Page for the latest in project posters!  The link will normally live at the top of this page.



Cows and Dynamite

Assignment 11: Industrial Revolution and more N fixing and explosives.

Read Bown: Chs. 3-5.

McClellan and Dorn: Chapter 14 (13 in older editions)

Course package readings: Pollan and some web stuff.

Jasko, Stross-Krichman and Hollin



Malthus, Guano, and Industrial Servitude

Assignment 12: Malthus and Guano, and the working conditions of the Industrial Revolution.

Read Bown: Chs. 7-8.

McClellan and Dorn: pp. 323-338.

Course package readings: Leigh, Wallace, Smith, Ure

Presentations: Hollin, Barnes-Heithoff and Palin




Over break, read chapters 9, 10, and the Epilogue in Bown.



Anomaly or Reality?

Assignment 13: Darwin, Wallace, geology, racism and relativism, Einstein and Quantum Mechanics, the meaning of life, and a few more things we didn’t get to yet…..

Read Bown: Chs. 9-end.

McClellan and Dorn: Ch 18(17): “The New Aristotelians”

Course package readings: Kuhn, Popper

Presentations: Du, Hartwell, Quirk-Warren




6-8 pm in P120

Assignment 14:-Final Exam

I’ll be combining both of my classes for this exam. So plan on 6:00-8:00 pm.


Here is a link to the Stevens Assessment Center.  It would be great if you could do this.  Sorry about all the paperwork.  www.stevens.edu/assess/


Extra Credit Text Evaluation- Earn some extra credit by filling this out and sending it back to me.  [This is a .doc and will download accordingly.] I’ll accept them until Sunday the 14th.


These are the books you should have.  They were all ordered and should be in the bookstore.


1) McClellan, James E., and Harold Dorn. Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 19XX.


 2) Lucretius’ On the Nature of the Universe (De rerum natura) (Penguin Classics) by Titus Lucretius Carus (Author), John Godwin (Introduction), Ronald E. Latham (Translator). Used copies start at under $3 online. There are numerous translations of this book and there is even an earlier Latham translation without the Godwin intro. I insist that you use the Latham translation and not any of the translations available on the web as these tend to be more poetic and less interested in the natural philosophy.


3) Bown, Stephen R. A Most Damnable Invention: Dynamite, Nitrates, and the Making of the Modern World. New York: T. Dunne Books, 2005. 



-All other class readings will be provided via this web site and/or the assignment page links. 


-Specific projects may require additional materials not contained in the Stevens library or from the class library. Seek my help if you are ever having trouble finding a source that you want, even if is for another class.  One of the things to learn in this class is how to find sources.