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Graduation and Retention Network

HIST 108

Science and Technology in World History

HIST 108 is a general survey of developments of science and technology in world civilizations from antiquity to the present, emphasizing the ways in which social and personal values and ethics were shaped—and were shaped by—those developments.

The study of history at the college level is quite different from studying history in high school.  Instead of only learning names, dates, and events in a timeline (although you do need to know content!), college students study and analyze different types of source materials to interpret the past. Events can be seen from multiple perspectives.  In the history of science this requires that past ways of understanding nature be taken seriously as functional knowledge that supported societies, rather than as simply wrong or interpretations we no longer believe.  Successful students learn to construct arguments and defend them by marshaling a variety of supporting evidence.  Studying history develops critical thinking skills and creates informed citizens.

Course Syllabus [pdf]

Download the course syllabus for full details about expectations, readings, assignments and more.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of historical thinking to understand human societies, specifically through examining the history of the global development of science and technology from antiquity to the contemporary era.
  • Define and summarize major events, developments, and themes of the history of science and technology from antiquity to the contemporary era. 
  • Evaluate significant themes, issues, or eras in the history of science and technology from antiquity to the contemporary era.
  • Demonstrate basic skills in the comprehension and analysis of selected sources and their relevance in the context of historical knowledge.
  • Recognize the differences between original historical source material (primary sources) and later scholarly interpretations of those sources (secondary sources).
  • Develop interpretive historical arguments drawing on primary and/or secondary sources.
  • Identify the sources and functions of values that guide human practices in science and technology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of ethics, values and social responsibility in science and technology for individuals and for societies through the history of science and technology. 
  • Reflect on how values shape personal and community ethics and decision-making in the context of science and technology. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.