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HISTSCI 117 - Inventing Science: Stars, Bodies, Books, and Beasts, 1500-1700 or return to Course Catalog Search

205189 – Section 001   

Faculty of Arts and SciencesHistory of ScienceHannah Marcus
TermDay and TimeLocation
Spring 2017-2018  (show academic calendar)MW   11:00 a.m. - 11:59 a.m.Science Ctr 469 (FAS)
4  (show credit conversion for other schools)
Credit Level
Graduate and Undergraduate

Between 1500 and 1700, a number of hugely consequential things happened in Europe that have traditionally and collectively been called revolutionary ? the Scientific Revolution. Copernicus and Galileo reconfigured the cosmos, Vesalius exposed the inner workings of the human body, Bacon and Descartes debated the fundamentals of scientific truth, and Newton reformulated the mathematical and physical world. But how should we understand events like these? Was there really a Scientific Revolution and did it really invent science? In this course, we will relate the classical moments associated with the early modern history of science to new scholarship that will allow us to ask questions about this so-called revolution's relationship to ancient and medieval science, the development of the arts in the Renaissance, the impact of print, the politics of European imperial projects, early tensions between science and religion, and the growth of new traditions of observation, empiricism, and rationalism in fields such as astronomy, medicine, and natural history.

Exam Group

Cross Registration
Eligible for cross-registration
With permission of instructor/subject to availability

MIT students please cross register from MIT's Add/Drop application.