Wikiversity:Think tank/History of Science


This is an "incubator page" for History of Science.

Where does this fit in?Edit

I recieved an email asking for advice on how to categorize and organize this effort, but not quite sure how to start. Does this belong in the "history department", in the sciences, or in it's own "department"? In general I think the best way to start is to come up with a general outline for the topic, and then start working on details for a particular historical period (ancient, renaissance, etc.), thread (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.), or people (Aristotle, Mendel, Darwin, etc.). Ideally in the end you should be able to follow in any order you like, but it's a big job :-).

Should this be a number of projects, or a single very large one? --SB_Johnny talk 11:57, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


The history of science is an interesting academic discipline, of course. It's a lot like intellectual history; it follows ideas, but focuses on geographical and socio-historical influences. Most courses are taught by significant time period and subject rather than "people" (i.e. Darwin). For instance, "History of 19th C Gender and Biology," "History of Modern Evolution and Genetics," and "The Scientific Revolution" all make excellent courses.

As for putting this area in science, I have mixed feelings. I truly believe that history of science/medicine helps to create better scholars in the scientific disciplines, so I'd love to work on building that bridge between the "two cultures." However, modern science is (obviously) very different than science 100 years ago! Where does one put a course on the development of modern science and experimentation? Would this be duplicated in each science subject?

My experience has History of Science as its own department, but I don't know if there's enough interest to go solo yet. Anyway, there's my two-cents. --Hyacinth 18:26, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, the best way to find out it to start it, and find people who are interested :-). I've actually taken courses on history of science at two universities... both were in the philosophy department, but we don't have any particular limit on how many "departments" we use here. --SB_Johnny talk 12:20, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
We'll be listing any such course over at the History Department, but we're unlikely to be the best people to recruit for working on such a course right now—none of us, that I'm aware of, have this as any sort of specialty, and it's an area of history that requires specialization to be able to contribute much to. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 08:51, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I have some background in the history of science. I would be interested in working on some projects in the area of astronomy, and also history of science and technology. During 2009 I will be working on projects relates to the International Year of Astronomy which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei and the publication of Johannes Kepler's w:Astronomia nova. --mikeu talk 18:54, 28 December 2008 (UTC)