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Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Medicine, science and modernity

HSTM60162 (30 credits)

Semester Two

Classes: one weekly two-hour seminar, Wednesdays 10am till 12 noon.

Contact: Prof Pratik Chakrabarti

AIMS

To give students:

  • a thorough knowledge of the interactions between the biosciences and medicine, from 1800 to the late twentieth century;
  • an understanding to the historiographical development and issues in the field;
  • a grounding in relevant methods and techniques to support dissertation research.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students successfully completing this module will have developed: a familiarity with the major developments in biosciences and medicine; experience of presenting oral arguments in seminar discussions; the ability to identify and research a topic of their own choosing; to find and assess critically primary and secondary sources; to write, with full scholarly apparatus, an essay on the basis of their individual research.

COURSE CONTENT

Topics include:

  • The rise of hospital medicine
  • Professionalisation and expertise
  • Public health
  • Natural history to ‘biology’
  • Evolution
  • Experimental medicine and its critics
  • Bacteriology and immunology
  • Mendelism and the rise of genetics
  • Vitamins and biochemistry
  • Sera, vaccines and antibiotics.

LEARNING AND TEACHING PROCESSES

Contact time is devoted to small-group discussion based on assigned readings. Students will regularly be asked to introduce the themes and arguments of readings to the rest of the class, and respond to comments. Some classes will also feature short video screenings.

Readings and other support materials are delivered via Blackboard, which is also used for essay upload. Students are encouraged to raise questions about the course in class or via email, and the group email list is used to continue general discussion on course themes.

ASSESSMENT

Two 3000-word essays (50% each)

LEARNING RESOURCES

Readings will come from scholarly journals, secondary sources, academic books, and primary sources.

METHODS OF FEEDBACK TO STUDENTS

The seminar discussion format of the course gives all students regular opportunities to discuss their ideas with teaching staff. Staff are also available to discuss essay proposals and general course performance by appointment, on a one-to-one basis. All coursework is double-marked, and essay scripts are returned to the students with both sets of markers’ comments.

TEACHING STAFF

  • Dr Ian Burney
  • Dr Carsten Timmermann
  • plus others to be confirmed.