AK1202 History of Science and Technology 7.5 credits

Teknik- och vetenskapshistoria

This course explores how science and technology have been used to make sense of the world, and to control it. It considers science and technology in a global historical perspective. The course provides a foundation for further studies in the history of science, technology, and the environment, but also allows students specializing in engineering and the natural sciences to gain a deeper understanding of the historical dimensions of their fields, and a broader perspective on how and why science and technology have become such powerful elements in the modern world.

The course centres around some principle ideas of science and techoology, such as progress, innovation, revolution and development, modernity, civilisation and risk and will discuss how these notions have been culturally constructed through time. The course does not give a chronological overview of the development of science and technology through all times. Instead we will touch upon many interesting topics such as colonialism, green revolution, eugenics, medieval islamic science, Cold War, nuclear energy, domestic technologies or technological selection and see how the abovementioned core concepts have played out. If you are curious whether Pythagoras actually invented the Pythagoras theoreme, what have Nazis to do with lung cancer, when did chicken start to consist of only legs, or how is research into nuclear bombs related to the development of global climate science, then this course is for you.

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

The course considers science and technology in a global historical perspective. It explores how science and technology have been used to make sense of the world, and to control it. The course provides a foundation for further studies in the history of science, technology, and the environment, but also allows students specializing in engineering and the natural sciences to gain a deeper understanding of the historical dimensions of their fields, and a broader perspective on how and why science and technology have become such powerful elements in the modern world.

Intended learning outcomes *

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

- Identify major changes in science and technology over time;

- Identify sources and methods used in historical writing and critically assess the validity of arguments in the history of science and technology;

- Describe how central ideas in science and technology, such as discovery, innovation, modernity, risk, etc., have been historically and socially constructed;

- Explain how understanding the historical dimensions of issues with contemporary significance can inform responsible actions in the present.

Course Disposition

The course involves lectures, discussion sessions and independent work.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

Applicants registered on a regular KTH programme are eligible. For applicants not registered on a KTH programme: completed upper secondary education.

Recommended prerequisites

None

Equipment

None

Literature

A selection of articles and book chapters.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • INL1 - Assignment Work, 7.5 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade *

- Active participation in course activities.

- Approved assignments.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted

Examiner

Per Högselius

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AK1202

Offered by

ABE/History of Science, Technology and Environment

Main field of study *

Technology

Education cycle *

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted

Contact

Kati Lindström, kati.lindstrom@abe.kth.se

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Supplementary information

The course might be cancelled if less than 5 students want to enrol.

Former course code: 4D1205