The history of science and technology (HST) is a field of history which examines how understanding of the natural world (science) and ability to manipulate it (technology) have changed over the centuries. This academic discipline also studies the cultural, economic, and political impacts of scientific innovation.
Histories of science were originally written by practicing and retired scientists, starting primarily with William Whewell, as a way to communicate the virtues of science to the public. In the early 1930s, after a famous paper given by the Soviet historian Boris Hessen, was focused into looking at the ways in which scientific practices were allied with the needs and motivations of their context. After World War II, extensive resources were put into teaching and researching the discipline, with the hopes that it would help the public better understand both Science and Technology as they came to play an exceedingly prominent role in the world. In the 1960s, especially in the wake of the work done by Thomas Kuhn, the discipline began to serve a very different function, and began to be used as a way to critically examine the scientific enterprise.
The University of Sydney offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the History and Philosophy of Science, run by the Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science, within the Science Faculty. Undergraduate coursework can be completed as part of either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Undergraduate study can be furthered by completing an additional Honours year. For postgraduate study, the Unit offers both coursework and research based degrees. The two course-work based postgraduate degrees are the Graduate Certificate in Science (HPS) and the Graduate Diploma in Science (HPS). The two research based postgraduate degrees are a Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
History of science and technology is a well developed field in India. At least three generations of scholars can be identified.
The first generation includes D.D.Kosambi, Dharmpal, Debiprasad Chattopadhyay and Rahman. The second generation mainly consists of Ashis Nandy, Deepak Kumar, Dhruv Raina, S. Irfan Habib, Shiv Visvanathan, Gyan Prakash, Stan Lourdswamy, V.V. Krishna, Itty Abraham, Richard Grove, Kavita Philip, Mira Nanda and Rob Anderson. There is an emergent third generation that includes scholars like Abha Sur and Jahnavi Phalkey.
Banaras Hindu University has programs: one in History of Science and Technology at the Faculty of Science and one in Historical and Comparative Studies of the Sciences and the Humanities at the Faculty of Humanities.
Andhra University has now set History of Science and Technology as a compulsory subject for all the First year B-Tech students.
Tel Aviv University. The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas is a research and graduate teaching institute within the framework of the School of History of Tel Aviv University.
Utrecht University, has two co-operating programs: one in History and Philosophy of Science at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and one in Historical and Comparative Studies of the Sciences and the Humanities at the Faculty of Humanities.
University of Kent has a Centre for the History of the Sciences, which offers Masters programmes and undergraduate modules.
University College London's Department of Science and Technology Studies offers undergraduate programme in History and Philosophy of Science, including two BSc single honour degrees (UCAS V550 and UCAS L391), plus both major and minor streams in history, philosophy and social studies of science in UCL's Natural Sciences programme. The department also offers MSc degrees in History and Philosophy of Science and in the study of contemporary Science, Technology, and Society. An MPhil/PhD research degree is offered, too. UCL also contains a Centre for the History of Medicine. This operates a small teaching programme in History of Medicine.
Academic study of the history of science as an independent discipline was launched by George Sarton at Harvard with his book Introduction to the History of Science (1927) and the Isis journal (founded in 1912). Sarton exemplified the early 20th century view of the history of science as the history of great men and great ideas. He shared with many of his contemporaries a Whiggish belief in history as a record of the advances and delays in the march of progress. The History of Science was not a recognized subfield of American history in this period, and most of the work was carried out by interested Scientists and Physicians rather than professional Historians. With the work of I. Bernard Cohen at Harvard, the history of Science became an established subdiscipline of history after 1945.
Arizona State University's Center for Biology and Society offers several paths for MS or PhD students who are interested in issues surrounding the history and philosophy of the science, particularly biological sciences. The strength of the Center has much to do with the success of its director Jane Maienschein. With a concentration in Biology and Society one can focus on History and Philosophy of Science, Bioscience Ethics, Policy and Law, or Ecology, Economics, and Ethics of the Environment.
Case Western Reserve University has an undergraduate interdisciplinary program in the History and Philosophy of Science and a graduate program in the History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine (STEM).
Cornell University offers a variety of courses within the Science and Technology course. One notable course is called Science and Technology History, taught currently by Professor Peter Dear, which centers upon the development of Science and Technology History from the Newtonian era up to the Einsteinian revolution. This class is one of the longest running classes at Cornell University and is offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and caters to students who want to learn more about the development of modern science.
University of California, Los Angeles has a relatively large group History of Science and Medicine faculty and graduate students within its History department, and also offers an undergraduate minor in the History of Science.
University of Florida has a Graduate Program in 'History of Science, Technology, and Medicine' at the University of Florida provides undergraduate and graduate degrees.
University of Minnesota has a Ph.D. program in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine as well as undergraduate courses in these fields. The Minnesota model "integrates" historians of science, technology, and medicine within the various science departments they study, each holding a joint appointment.
University of Wisconsin–Madison has one of the largest programs in History of Science, Medicine and Technology, with particular strength in Medical History, History of Biology, History of Science and Religion, and Environmental History. This program was the first to exist as an independent academic department. It offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees as well as an undergraduate major.
^Nathan Reingold, "History of Science Today, 1. Uniformity as Hidden Diversity: History of Science in the United States, 1920-1940," British Journal for the History of Science 1986 19(3): 243-262
^Dauben, JW; Gleason, ML; Smith, GE (2009). "Seven decades of history of science: I. Bernard Cohen (1914-2003), second editor of Isis". Isis; an international review devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences. 100 (1): 4–35. doi:10.1086/597575. PMID19554868.
H. Floris Cohen, The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry, University of Chicago Press 1994 - Discussion on the origins of modern science has been going on for more than two hundred years. Cohen provides an excellent overview.
Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought, Belknap Press 1985
Michel Serres,(ed.), A History of Scientific Thought, Blackwell Publishers 1995
Companion to Science in the Twentieth Century, John Krige (Editor), Dominique Pestre (Editor), Taylor & Francis 2003, 941pp
The Cambridge History of Science, Cambridge University Press
Volume 4, Eighteenth-Century Science, 2003
Volume 5, The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences, 2002
History of science as a discipline
J. A. Bennett, 'Museums and the Establishment of the History of Science at Oxford and Cambridge', British Journal for the History of Science 30, 1997, 29–46
Dietrich von Engelhardt, Historisches Bewußtsein in der Naturwissenschaft : von der Aufklärung bis zum Positivismus, Freiburg [u.a.] : Alber, 1979
A.-K. Mayer, 'Setting up a Discipline: Conflicting Agendas of the Cambridge History of Science Committee, 1936–1950.' Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 31, 2000