Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD


Early Modern Science (HPSC0080)

The early modern period, from c.1400 to 1800, experienced a radical transformation in Europeans’ understanding of the natural world

We explore these changes through a series of signal moments in the history of early modern science, including the trial of Galileo, Newton’s experiments on light and gravity, Hooke’s studies with the microscope, and the creation of the first map of India. The course will examine these episodes through critical perspectives developed in recent history of science. These include studies of patronage; the place of magic and alchemy in science; the role of collecting and museums in the development of science; relations of science and art; and the connections between early modern science and religion. Throughout we will also pay attention to the value of STS approaches for better understanding early modern science. We will examine issues of trust, gender, science as practice and culture, science and social order, and the public understanding of science in the early modern period.

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Course Objectives: 

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of key themes in the history of early modern natural knowledge
  • provide a critical analysis of key themes in the historiography of early modern natural knowledge
  • relate issues in the history of early modern natural knowledge to key approaches in contemporary science and technology studies
  • demonstrate professional-level research skills

Full pdf details:

UCL Module Catalogue: Early Modern Science Course (HPSC0080)