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).

Program Requirements

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)

Education                   BIOS 10110* plus a topics course (BIOS
11108-15118) or BIOS 20181-20182 or higher

                                    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. Ross,
G. Stocking, Jr., N. Swerdlow, W. Wimsatt, A. Winter

Courses: History, Philosophy, and Social Studies
of Science and Medicine (hips)

Foundation Sequence

HIPS 17300-17400-17501 (or 17502). Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization I, II, III. (=HIST 17300-17400-17501 [or 17502]) Each course may be taken individually, although it is recommended that students take the entire sequence in order. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence focuses on the origins and development of science in the West. The aim is to trace the evolution of the biological, psychological, natural, and mathematical sciences as they emerge from the cultural and social matrix of their periods, and in turn, affect culture and society.

17300. The first quarter examines the sources of Greek science in the diverse modes of ancient thought and its advance through the first centuries of our era. We look at the technical refinement of science, its connections to political and philosophical movements of fifth- and fourth-century Athens, and its growth in Alexandria. R. Richards. Autumn.

17400. The second quarter is concerned with the period of the scientific revolution: the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The principal subjects are the work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Vesalius, Harvey, Descartes, and Newton. N. Swerdlow. Winter.

17502. Modern Science. The advances science has produced have transformed modern life beyond anything that a person living in 1833 (when the term "scientist" was first coined) could have anticipated. Yet science's dazzling success continues to pose questions that are both challenging and, in some instances, troubling. How will our technologies affect the environment? Should we prevent the cloning of humans? Can we devise a politically acceptable framework for the patenting of life? Such questions make it vitally important that we try to understand what science is and how it works, even if we ourselves never enter laboratories or do experiments. This course helps us achieve that understanding, whatever our initial level of scientific expertise. The course uses evidence from today's scientific controversies, ranging from the Human Genome Project to the International Space Station, to throw light on the enterprise of science itself. J. Cohen-Cole. Spring.


HIPS 29400-29500-29600. Tutorial. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

Seminar and Research

HIPS 29700. Readings and Research in History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

HIPS 29800. Senior Seminar: My Favorite Readings in the History and Philosophy of Science. (=HIST 25502) This course introduces students to some of the most important and influential accounts of science to have been produced in modern times. It provides an opportunity to discover how philosophers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists have grappled with the scientific enterprise, and to assess critically how successful their efforts have been. The authors likely to be discussed include Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Robert Merton, Steven Shapin, and Bruno Latour. R. Richards. Winter.

HIPS 29900. Bachelor's Thesis. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

Other Courses in the Major

Courses other than those included in the preceding sample curricula or in the list that follows may be appropriate for HIPS students; consult the quarterly Times Schedules for possible additions.

HIPS 20001. Stoic Moral Philosophy. (=CLAS 33500, CLCV 23500, PHIL 25310/35310) J. Beere. Spring.

HIPS 20100. Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. (=CHSS 33300, PHIL 20000) Winter.

HIPS 20101. Plato's Republic. (=CLCV 23510, FNDL 21703, PHIL 25704) J. Beere. Winter.

HIPS 20500. Intermediate Logic I. (=CHSS 33600, PHIL 29400/39600) M. Kremer. Spring.

HIPS 20601. Boundaries, Modules, and Levels. (=BPRO 22200, PHIL 22210) W. Wimsatt, J. Haugeland. Winter.

HIPS 20700. Elementary Logic. (=CHSS 33500, MAPH 38000, PHIL 20100/30000) J. Bridges. Autumn.

HIPS 21000. Introduction to Ethics. (=ISHU 29200, PHIL 21000) M. Green. Spring.

HIPS 21100. The Practice of Anthropology: Celebrity and Science in Paleoanthropology. (=ANTH 21406/38300) R. Tuttle. Not offered 2005-06; will be offered 2006-07.

HIPS 21200. Big Science and the Birth of the National Security State. (=ANTH 22400/34900) J. Masco. Winter.

HIPS 22401. Darwinian Health. (=GNDR 21500, HUDV 21500) J. Mateo. Autumn.

HIPS 22501. Medicine and Society: Things, Bodies, Persons. (=BPRO 22500) D. Brudney, J. Lantos, F. Curlin. Winter.

HIPS 22601. Medicine and Society in Twentieth-Century China. (=ANTH 23600) J. Farquhar. Not offered 2005-06; will be offered 2006-07.

HIPS 22801. Psychology of Gender and the Gendering of Psychology. (=HIST 25404/35404) J. Cohen-Cole. Winter.

HIPS 23000. The Organization of Knowledge. (=BPRO 23500) H. Sinaiko, W. Booth. Spring.

HIPS 23201. Human Intelligences: Animal to AI. (=HUMA 25201, ISHU 25201) M. Browning. Winter. Not offered 2005-06; will be offered 2006-07.

HIPS 23301. Technoscience and Information. (=ANTH 25605/35805) CHSS 32300, SOCI 20149/30149) K. Knorr Cetina. Winter.

HIPS 23400. Is Development Sustainable? (=BPRO 23400, ENST 24400, NCDV 27300, PBPL 24400) T. Steck, M. Arsel. Spring.

HIPS 23600. Classical Readings in Anthropology: History and Theory of Human Evolution. (=ANTH 21102/38400, EVOL 38400) R. Tuttle. Winter.

HIPS 23900. Biological and Cultural Evolution. (=BPRO 23900, BIOS 29286, CHSS 37900, LING 11100, NCDV 27400, PHIL 22500/32500) W. Wimsatt, S. Mufwene. Winter.

HIPS 24200. Science and Religion. (=BPRO 24100) R. Perlman. Not offered 2005-06.

HIPS 24300. Foucault and The History of Sexuality. (=GNDR 24900, PHIL 24800) A. Davidson. Autumn.

HIPS 24801. Perspectives on Imaging. (=ARTH 26900/36900, BIOS 02927, BPRO 27000, CMST 27300/37300) B. Stafford, P. La Riviere. Autumn. Not offered 2005-06; will be offered 2006-07.

HIPS 25300. History of Photography, 1800 to 1950. (=ARTH 26400/36400, COVA 26300/36300) J. Snyder. Winter.

HIPS 25501. Issues in World Environmental History. (=ENST 23800, HIST 19001) A. Gugliotta. Spring.

HIPS 25600. History of Statistics. (=CHSS 32900, STAT 26700/36700) S. Stigler. Spring.

HIPS 25900. Darwinian Medicine. (=BIOS 22257) R. Perlman, W. Wimsatt. Autumn.

HIPS 26000. History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. (=PHIL 26000) Winter.

HIPS 26101. Social/Cultural Foundations of Mental Health. (=HUDV 28701/38701) D. Orlinsky. Autumn.

HIPS 26801. German Romanticism: Science, Philosophy, and Literature. (=CHSS 42400, GRMN 47000, HIST 25401/35401, PHIL 20701/30701) R. Richards. Winter.

HIPS 27300. Medicine and Culture. (=ANTH 24300/40300) J. Comaroff. Spring.

HIPS 28400. Darwin's Origin of Species. (=CHSS 38400, FNDL 23500, HIST 25000/35000, PHIL 28500/38500) R. Richards. Autumn.

HIPS 28500. Galileo's Astronomy and Conflicts with the Church. (=ASTR 38800, CHSS 38600) N. Swerdlow. Winter.

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