History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine
Director: Robert J. Richards, SS 205, 702-8391
Secretary: Betty Mackevich, SS 207, 702-8391
Program of Study
The B.A. program in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS) is designed for College students interested in studying science in terms of its historical development, conceptual structure, and social role. Students in the program must do sufficient work in one or more sciences to acquire a sound foundation for studying the nature of science. After securing this basis, they are expected to gain an understanding of how science arose, as well as how the content of scientific thought has changed and is changing, because of both its own internal dynamic and its interaction with the larger society in which it is embedded.
The HIPS program is designed to make possible the study of a wide range of social, historical, and conceptual issues relating to science. Students completing the program follow a number of different careers. Some pursue graduate study in the history and philosophy of science or in some field of science. Others find the program valuable preparation for the study of medicine, law, public policy, or science journalism. More generally, the goal of the program is to provide students with a sound basis on which to interpret and evaluate science and science policy. Some students choose to construct a degree program combining the requirements for the HIPS major with those for a major in the physical or biological sciences. Others, having met the HIPS program requirements, use electives to broaden their liberal arts education.
HIPS Sponsor. The Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine sponsors the HIPS program. Further information can be obtained in the center's office (SS 207).
Elements of the Curriculum. The curriculum of the program contains five principal elements:
1. The Foundation. All students must:
a. complete the general education requirement for the biological sciences with BIOS 10110 plus a topics course (BIOS 11108-15118), or the first two courses of a Fundamental Sequence (BIOS 20180s or 20190s);
b. complete the general education requirement in the physical sciences with a physics sequence (PHYS 12100-12200 or its equivalent), a chemistry sequence (CHEM 11101-11201/11102-11202 or equivalent), or a score of 5 on the AP chemistry or physics test;
c. take a calculus sequence (MATH 13100-13200 or higher), or have earned a score of 5 on the AP Calculus BC test; and
d. take the three-quarter sequence surveying the growth of science in Western civilization: Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization (HIPS 17300-17400-17501 [or 17502]).
2. Advanced Science. In addition to the science courses typically taken as part of the general education requirements, students are expected to take three courses in science or mathematics beyond the introductory level. They select these advanced courses according to their special aims, their area of concentration, and the subject of their bachelor's thesis.
3. Areas of Concentration. All students in the program determine an area of concentration in the history, philosophy, ethics, and/or social contexts of science and medicine. In consultation with the program director and their program adviser, students select five courses to constitute this concentration area. For example, some students may be particularly interested in the epistemological issues related to the growth of science; others may be especially concerned with the intellectual and social interactions between changing scientific knowledge and institutions, on the one hand, and evolving social institutions, on the other; a third group may wish to emphasize moral and political problems attending the employment of technology generated by advances in science.
4. Tutorials. Students are required to take two tutorial courses; this is typically done early in their program. These tutorials are small classes (from three to ten students) that emphasize discussion and writing. Lists of courses for the coming year are available in the HIPS office.
5. Bachelor's Thesis and Senior Seminar. Students complete their program with a bachelor's thesis (HIPS 29900). In Spring Quarter of their third year, students should discuss their proposal for their bachelor's thesis with the program director. In consultation with the program director, students then sign up for a reading and research course with an appropriate faculty member. This research course should lead to a thesis that integrates each student's academic studies, bringing them to bear on a significant question related to some historical, conceptual, ethical, or social aspect of science. During their fourth year, students also enroll in a designated one-quarter seminar (HIPS 29800) that deals with general aspects of history, philosophy, and social studies of science.
Summary of Requirements
General HIPS 17300-17400-17501 (or 17502)
10110* plus a topics course (BIOS
CHEM 11101-11201/11102-11202 or equivalent*,
or PHYS 12100-12200 or higher*
MATH 13100-13200 or higher*
Major 3 courses in science or math beyond the introductory level
5 courses in an area of concentration
2 HIPS 29400 to 29600 (tutorial courses)
1 HIPS 29800 (senior seminar)
1 HIPS 29900 (bachelor's thesis)
* Credit may be granted by examination.
Examples of Concentrations. The following are meant to illustrate areas of concentration. They are not prescriptive, only suggestive. Students should consult with the director of the program and examine this course catalog and the quarterly Time Schedules for the particular courses that might constitute their area of concentration.
History and Philosophy of Biological Science
HIPS 22700. Philosophy of Biology
HIPS 23600. History and Theory of Human Evolution
HIPS 23700. Apes and Human Evolution
HIPS 23900. Biological and Cultural Evolution
HIPS 25800. Darwin's Romantic Biology
Philosophy of Science
HIPS 22000. Philosophy of Science
HIPS 22300. Philosophy of Social Sciences
HIPS 22700. Philosophy of Biology
HIPS 24900. Natural Philosophy, 1200 to 1800
HIPS 25400. Philosophy of Mind and Science Fiction
History of Medicine and Medical Ethics
HIPS 15000. Science and Medicine Today
HIPS 21400. Introduction to Medical Ethics
HIPS 21600. Advanced Medical Ethics
HIPS 25900. Darwinian Medicine
HIPS 27300. Medicine and Culture
Admission. To be admitted, students should have completed at least two of the four foundation course sequences listed in the preceding section and should have maintained a 3.2 GPA or higher in previous course work. Admission is completed when students have taken the remaining foundation courses and have formulated a plan of study; this is typically done before their third year. Application for admission should be made to the director of the program, who advises students about the requirements, arranges a preliminary plan of study, and discusses scheduling conflicts and special cases. Thereafter, a student chooses, in consultation with the director, a permanent adviser from the staff.
Honors. Students who meet the following criteria are considered for graduation with honors in the major: (1) overall GPA of 3.3 or higher, (2) completion of a bachelor's thesis of A quality, and (3) a majority vote by the faculty in favor of honors.
Grading. Courses may be taken on P/F basis except that students majoring in HIPS must receive quality grades in all courses aimed at meeting the requirements of the major.
Advisers. The faculty for the HIPS program is drawn from many parts of the University. The following have direct responsibility for admitting students, formulating curriculum, and advising.
J. Comaroff, A. Davidson, A. D. Goldblatt, A.
Johns, J. Lantos, R. Richards, L.
Courses: History, Philosophy, and Social