Department of the
History of Science
Univ. of Oklahoma
601 Elm Avenue
Norman, OK 73019
tel: 405.325.3427 fax: 405.325.2363
As I build this portion of scipop, what I plan to focus on are three areas:
1) Sharing some of the nuts and bolts I’ve used to weld together my Science and Popular Culture class.
2) Analytical reflections on some of the choices I’ve been confronted with, options I’ve pursued, and how I’ve modified my thinking in light of what my students have taught me; and
3) Some examples of assignments and results produced by the students themselves, in the form of excerpts and selections.
My first contribution is of the “nuts and bolts” variety: a list of virtually all the books and visual materials I’ve assigned to students in the ten years I’ve taught the course. In all my teaching I’ve benefitted enormously from being able to read the syllabi that other professors have posted on the web; I hope this is a partial payback of that debt that may be useful to someone else wondering how to put such a course together.
My second contribution regarding the "reflections" category is the text of a plenary address I delivered at the joint meeting of the History of Science Society and the Society for the History of Technology in 2005, which gives some background on my thoughts about why historians of science need to make more of an effort to participate in digital history efforts:
And teaching reflections can also be found on the scipop blog, petri dish.
My third contribution, an example of our "assignments," will be to put together a digitized presentation from the “Draw-a-Scientist” test I've done with my undergraduates, to be used as a mini-archive for further classowrk.
…[research] will be
of little import except in so far as it is transmuted into common knowledge. The history that lies inert in unread books does no work in the world…If we remain too long recalcitrant, Mr. Everyman will ignore us, shelving our recondite works behind glass doors rarely opened.
— carl becker