2022-2023 University Catalog 
    
    Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog archived

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HIST 249 - The Scientist as National Hero


FDR: HU Humanities Distribution
Credits: 3

In this course we discuss the place of scientists in Western society, from the time of the Victorian professionalization of science till today, and we pay attention to the formation of a twentieth-century elite of Nobel Laureates and their role in national politics as well as, to a lesser extent, in international affairs. The course begins by discussing issues of historiography, giving special attention to scientific biography and metabiography. We thus “locate” science by looking at it as an embodied phenomenon, not just as a set of ideas and theories. The practitioners of science are dealt with, their institutions, their image in society and their role in contributing to politics and the public good. How/why have some scientists gained extraordinary leadership status in our culture; how/why have some become national heroes, a few even international ones? Can scientists provide the moral and political leadership to deal with the challenges in society that their very successes have created?



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