2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
HPSC2150 History of Science in 10 Objects
20 creditsClass Size: 60
Module manager: Dr Katherine Rawling
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2021/22
This module is mutually exclusive with
|HPSC2111||Reading Text: History of Ideas|
|HPSC2115||Introduction to Reading Texts|
Module replacesHPSC2111 Reading Texts in the History of Ideas
This module is approved as a discovery module
Module summaryHow do historians learn about science’s past? At its heart, it always comes down to the objects that survive: books, letters, notebooks, instruments, and other artefacts. In this module, we open up science’s past for you by teaching you how to read and interpret scientific objects as both historical products and historical evidence. Each week, we will explore a key moment in the history of science (e.g. Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetism or the unravelling of DNA’s double helix) by getting close and personal with one of the objects that survive. And as we do so, you will learn about how to make sense of those historical objects, asking how they came to be made (who wrote or made it, and why?) and how they came to be used. The abilities which this module fosters are foundational for the historian of science but they are also applicable in a wide range of careers.
ObjectivesThe module is designed to introduce students to some key moments in the history of science using a wide range of books, manuscripts, instruments, and other objects. In so doing, it is intended to teach them how to read historical texts and to interpret material objects from the history of science with appropriate sensitivity to their purposes and form.
On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate
a) understanding of a number of key episodes in the history of science;
b) knowledge of, and an ability to apply, the basic skills of textual exegesis;
c) the ability to interpret material objects as historical products;
d) the capacity for critical interrogation of historical evidence.
This module teaches some of the core skills of the historian, notably the ability to interpret historical objects, both textual and non-textual, in relation to their historical context.
The course will focus on ten objects from the history of science, some of them textual (e.g. Faraday’s experimental notebooks), some of them non-textual (e.g. Astbury’s camera, held here at Leeds, which produced the first X-ray diffraction image of DNA). Each object will first be introduced by a lecture on its origin and context and will then be discussed further in seminars.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||178.00|
|Total Contact hours||22.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyPreparatory reading per seminar 11 x 6 hours
Researching and writing blog post 18 hours
Essay preparation and writing 50 hours
Further reading 44 hours
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackStudents will have the opportunity to submit a 500 word essay plan connected to their chosen essay question and will receive feedback on their contribution/s to online discussion boards. Students will receive verbal comments on their understanding and progress in seminars, and be able to visit staff during office hours or arranged meetings throughout the semester.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||3000 word essay (end of module)||100.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/06/2021 14:25:33
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