College of Liberal Arts 
Department of History, Geography, and Political Science

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 

COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 3630-01, History of Science and Technology

Semester/Year: Fall 2013 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 406A
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-7457
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class meeting location: Crouch (GRD) 318
Day and Time: TR 1:00-2:25 pm
E-Mail: tcorse@tnstate.edu
FINAL EXAM - Due by Friday, December 13, 2013.

Midterm Exam
Office Hours:  M 12-3; TR 9-11, 12-1; W 9-11, 12-3; F 9-11

1. Research Essay 2.Book Essays 3. Reading Reactions 4. Issue Journal 5. Participation


 Back to Contents 

HIST 3630 examines the relationship between science, technology, and culture, primarily in the West from the Renaissance to the present. This course also examines precursors to modern science and technology in the ancient, medieval and non-Western worlds.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES This course is designed to so that the student will:
  • Be able to discuss how science and technology both shape culture but also express the culture of a particular time and place
  • Gain a theoretical understanding of the nature of scientific and technological development
  • Use this knowledge and understanding to analyze the role of science and technology in modern culture

There  are three books which we will use in this class:

  • Gies, Joseph. Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages (Harper Perennial, 1995) ISBN 0060925817
  • Standage, Thomas. The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century (Berkeley Trade, 1999) ISBN 0802716040
  • McClellan, James. Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) ISBN 0801883601

All of these books are available in paperback. The McMlellan and Gies books are available from Amazon as Kindle downloads, and the Standage and Gies books are available as downloads with Barnes and Noble's Nook.

EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution

Two  Exams

2x20% each=40%



Reading Reactions


Book Essays


Issue Journal 15%

Research Essay





Assignments 1. Research Paper 2. Book Review 3. Participation
Grades and their numerical equivalents are as follows:
Grading Scale
90 or above A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
59 or below F


Office Hours: Students who seek help with instructors during office hours get better grades. Do not wait until you have major problems! Students should speak to me any time they find themselves confused about material, directions, or grades. I am always ready to help any student who needs help with any of the material or any assignment. That's my job.

Back to Contents 

READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS All readings are required.
  Week Dates Topic and/or Assignment



Aug 27-29 Introduction; Paleolithic to the Urban Revolution; Non-Western Traditions STWH Intro, Chp 1
2 Sep 3-5

Introduction; Paleolithic to the Urban Revolution; Non-Western Traditions

STWH Intro, Chps 1-3; 6-9

Cathedral, Forge


Sep 10-12

Introduction; Paleolithic to the Urban Revolution; Non-Western Traditions

STWH Chps 2-3; 6-9

Cathedral, Forge


Sep 17-19 Beginnings of the Western Tradition - Ancient Greece

First Reading Reaction Due - Sep 19

STWH Chp 4

Herodotus: "Why The Nile Floods in Summer"

Cathedral, Forge
5 Sep 24-26 Science and Technology of the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance

Second Reading Reaction Due - Sep 26

STWH Chps 5, 10

Cathedral, Forge (discussion)

Roger Bacon: On Experimental Science, 1268


Oct 1-3 Scientific Revolution
STWH Chp 4

Cathedral, Forge (discussion)
7 Oct 8-10 Scientific Revolution


STWH Chps 11-13
Copernicus: Dedication from The Revolution of Heavenly Bodies, 1543; Galileo Galilei:
Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, 1615


Oct 15-17 Scientific Revolution STWH Chps 11-13
9 Oct 22-24 Industrial Revolution

Cathedral, Forge Essay Due - Oct 24

Midterm Exam Announced - Oct 24

STWH Chps 13-15
Victorian Internet

Leeds Woolen Workers' Petition, 1786 ;
Leeds Cloth Merchants' Letter, 1791 


Oct 29-31 Industrial Revolution

Midterm Exam Due - Oct 31

STWH Chp 15-16

Victorian Internet
11 Nov 5-7 The Second Scientific Revolution
STWH Chp 17-18

Victorian Internet


Nov 12-14 Darwin and Evolution

Victorian Essay Due - Nov 14


STWH Chp 19-20

Maeterlicnk, The Life of a Bee (read section 45)

Huxley, The Physiology of the Crayfish (read up to Figure 19)
13 Nov 19-21 Einstein, Relativity, and Culture

Third Reading Reaction Due - Nov 21

STWH Chp 19-20


Nov 26-28

Science and Technology in Modern Society


Issue Journal Due - Nov 28

STWH Chp 19-20
15 Dec 3-5 Presentations

Final Exam Announced - Nov 28
Research Essay Due - Dec 5


Dec 10-12 Final Exam Due  


Back Back to Contents 
REQUIREMENTS Assignments Assignments for this class will include reading, writing, and special projects. Readings maybe assigned not only from the text, but also from photocopied materials, library books, and Internet sources. Students are responsible for all work assigned in this class, whether or not they are present. Assignments must be completed on time. Late work will be penalized unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. All students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions.  


Attendance and Punctuality

All students are expected to attend class punctually and regularly.  Students arriving after the beginning of class may, at the instructor's discretion, be counted absent and/or asked to remain outside the classroom until the end of the lecture.

Excessive absence or tardiness may result in a significant reduction in a student's grade, and instructors are under no obligation to allow make-up work in cases of tests and assignments missed as a result of unexcused absence or tardiness.  The professor reserves the right to deduct from the student's participation grade for more than three unexcused absences and to deduct up to a letter grade from the final grade for excessive unexcused absences (10% of class hours). The professor reserves the right to fail students who miss more that 20% of class hours. Those students who know that they will have a consistent problem due to scheduling conflicts should discuss this with the professor at the beginning of the semester. Students are also responsible for obtaining information presented in class during their absence.

In the event of an illness or emergency requiring absence from class, students should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in order to obtain the documentation necessary to have the absence excused.  Instructors may require such documentation as a condition for allowing the completion of missed tests or assignments.

Tennessee State University's policy on absences may be found in the Student Handbook, Chapter VII, pp. 100-101.

The last day to withdraw is Nov 4.


Special Note on Academic Honesty

Students should be aware that a university is a community of scholars committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and truth. Without freedom to investigate all materials, scrupulous honesty in reporting findings, and proper acknowledgment of credit, such a community can not survive. Students are expected to adhere to the highest traditions of scholarship. Infractions of these traditions, such as plagiarism (cheating), are not tolerated. Misrepresenting someone else's words or ideas as one's own constitutes plagiarism. In cases where plagiarism occurs, the instructor has the right to penalize the student(s) as he or she thinks appropriate. One guideline holds that the first offence results in failure of the assignment, the second offence in failure of the course. 

Class Participation

Class Participation: Preparation: since students are expected to participate in class discussion, it is important to complete all the assigned readings before coming to class. Students are expected to understand the material, or at least have identified what they do not yet understand in order to ask questions in class. All students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

Students are expected to observe normal courtesy in class. They are expected to pay attention to the instructor, to take detailed notes, to refrain from personal conversation, and to avoid any other behavior that disturbs others. A student who does not observe these courtesies maybe asked to leave the room. 
Back to Contents 

Back to Contents Last Updated: August 29, 2005

Hit Counter