Science and Technology Studies


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


Science in the Nineteenth Century (HPSC0081)

The 19th century experienced a tremendous expansion of science. This module explores that expansion through the lens of popularisation, public engagement, and presentation.

We cover a variety of settings, including museums, lecture halls, publishing devices, parlours, and private collections. We also cover a variety of communities and types of activities, including professional societies, amateur clubs, working men's clubs, and ephemeral consumer activity. How did the many venues intertwine? How do historians relate science in public to science done elsewhere? Do STS analytical tools and concepts help us understand historical activity related to science in public? This module includes visits to some of the surviving attractions of 19thC science.

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Course Objectives: 

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

  • demonstrate key themes in 19thC science, both in content and historiography
  • demonstrate an ability to research historical topics, including collecting and assessing primary sources, and relating primary sources to historiographical themes,
  • demonstrate an ability to test historiographical arguments and develop relational points
  • demonstrate professional-level research skills that integrate archives, museum collections, and digital resources 
  • demonstrate the ability to critically interpret both primary and secondary sources
  • demonstrate skill in historical reasoning and comparative analysis
  • demonstrate skill collecting primary materials relevant to the 19thC
  • relate geographic and architectural knowledge to other types of historical artifacts
  • approach new material in this course’s domain from a historical perspective and with a critical historian's eye
  • demonstrate critical analysis of science communication and public engagement over a variety of venues

Full pdf details:

UCL Module Catalogue: Science in the Nineteenth Century (HPSC0081)