History, Nature, and Practice of Science

10 Units

This course will provide a historical background to contemporary practices in scientific research. It will explore the different ways that people have described the scientific enterprise and provide guidance in doing and using science. The course provides a narrative treatment of material traditionally described under the headings of history & philosophy of science and research methods. The course should be useful both to people who manage or make use of contemporary scientific research and to those who intend to carry it out themselves.

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Education

Not currently offered

  1. To place modern science within its historical and social contexts.
  2. To problematise the distinctions between science and non-science and between science and technology.
  3. To elucidate the relationships between society, science and technology.
  4. To investigate the conditions which encourage or inhibit the growth of science.
  5. To clarify methods of research that have general application across the sciences.
  6. To explore the truth status of the intellectual products of scientific work.

This course begins with an exploration of the place of science and technology in traditional societies. We will then look at the rise of modern science, moving from the peak of traditional science to the beginning of modern science. This will form the basis of an analysis of the pattern of scientific history and the roots of contemporary research methods. These first sections of the course provide the foundation for selected cases which draw out the connections between science and technology, and provide clear examples of some features of the pattern of scientific history.

Replacing Course(s) N/A
Transition N/A
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge Completion of some undergraduate science.
Modes of Delivery Flexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Teaching Methods Lecture
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Assignment 1(40%; 2,000 words): Essay topics exploring the nature of science.
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Assignment 2 (60%; 3,000 words): Essay exploring either a pivotal event in the history of science; a point of significant critique or contestation of the scientific enterprise; or a central method of scientific research.
Contact Hours
  • Lecture: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components None listed
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for EDUC6157

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