The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning teaching and research. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

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Teaching

Picasso

The philosophy behind my approach to teaching

I always considered teaching as one of the most powerful instruments of research and as one of the ways in which philosophy can be placed at the service of real life. My didactic methodology hinges on three fundamental principles: community, interdisciplinarity and pluralism, which will hopefully help you think critically, argue honestly and engage with viewpoints which are different from your own.

The undergraduate courses I will teach in 2011-12:

HPSC 1003 – Philosophy of Science

A must for STS students, philosophers and scientists. This course will teach you how to think critically about science and reflect on the “big questions”. It is an introductory course, so don’t worry if you lack a proper philosophical background. The only requirement for this course is a limitless amount of intellectual curiosity!

Sir Humphry Davy, Chlorinator and Electrifier

HPSC 3007 – Topics in the History of the Physical Sciences

(Click here for the course website)

An advanced and highly engaging course, in which you will be asked to do some historical and philosophical research at an advanced academic level. It will give you a taste of what it is like to be a professional researcher and you will learn a lot by doing real research. I have inherited this course from Prof. Hasok Chang’s amazing didactic experiment (click here for a glimpse at the previous cycles of this course), and I totally subscribe to the philosophy behind it!


Giacomo Balla, Vortice (1914)

HPSC 3022 – Special Topics in STS: Science, Art and Philosophy

A course I am very excited to teach, which addresses most of the questions that animate my academic research. The course explores the interactions between science and art from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Its philosophical focus is the notion of “representation”, conceived as a crucial common link between scientific and artistic visual practices. This year 3022 is combined with M008 - Advanced Philosophy of Science.

Charles Bell, Nerves


Student Selected Component (SSC) for year 2 Medical Students: Medicine and Visual Culture

Do you know the story behind the illustrations in Gray’s Anatomy? What about the background for Andreas Vesalius’ dissections of the human body? Or, why did Sir Charles Bell, founder of the Middlesex Hospital, use watercolours for some of his anatomical illustrations rather than something better suited to technical drawing?This course studies the history of medical representations in connection with techniques in the visual arts, and places them in the larger context of scientific visualisation. Be prepared for surprises...and a good deal of object-based learning!

The Postgraduate Courses I will teach in 2011-12:

HPSC GA17 – MSc Option in Philosophy of Science

An advanced introduction to the philosophy of science designed especially for historians of science, technology and medicine. In a genuine integrated HPS spirit, this course tackles a number of key issues in philosophy of science through historical case studies. The course material will be complemented by the possibility of attending academic seminars and reading groups, which will allow you to see some philosophy of science “in action” and interact with PhD students and professional academics.

Courses I taught outside the STS Department

“Philosophy of Science: a Short Introduction”, MA in Science Journalism, City University (London).

“The Real Thing?”, MA in Principles of Conservation, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Undergraduate Dissertation Projects I supervised in past years:

2009-10
Constanze Bell, “Abduction and Crime Science”
Thomas Dalziel, “The Rationality of Scientific Discovery”
Adam Holland, “The Benefits of Pluralism: A Perspectival Articulation”
Nathan Topping (Natural Sciences Literature Project), “The Epistemology of Scientific Models”

2010-11
Jacob Burda Furtwaengler, "Ontic Structural Realism – The Philosophical Framework for a New Quantum Mentality"
Roshan Panjwani, "The Reliability of Climate Models: A philosophical Problem or a Problem for Philosophy?"
Safina Shafique (Natural Sciences Literature Project), "Kuhn's Concept of Incommensurability in Relation to Neuroscience"


MSc Dissertation Projects:

2009-10
Gaelle Chartier "Herbert Simon's Theory of Scientific Discovery" 
Felix Rietmann "The Foundations of Clinical Thermometry: An Explorative Study in Integrated HPS"

2010-11

Nick Binney (in progress) on an integrated HPS approach to examine the history of Heart Failure.

Note: If you are planning to write your dissertation (undergraduate or MSc) under my supervision, please contact me with a proposal and I will be happy to discuss it with you. A strong background in history and philosophy of science, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm in your dissertation topic, are essential requirements for our collaboration.

Page last modified on 07 sep 11 18:57 by Chiara Ambrosio


UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
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