Program in History of Science
William C. Jordan
Director of Graduate Studies
John F. Haldon (History)
Erika Lorraine Milam (History of Science)
Jeremy I. Adelman
David A. Bell
D. Graham Burnett
David N. Cannadine
Linda J. Colley
Thomas D. Conlan, also East Asian Studies
Angela N. H. Creager
Benjamin A. Elman, also East Asian Studies
Sheldon M. Garon, also East Asian Studies
Michael D. Gordin
Anthony T. Grafton
Molly Greene, also Hellenic Studies
Jan T. Gross
John F. Haldon, also Hellenic Studies
Hendrik A. Hartog
Tera W. Hunter, also African American Studies
Harold James, also Woodrow Wilson School
William C. Jordan
Stephen M. Kotkin, also Woodrow Wilson School
Emmanuel H. Kreike
Kevin M. Kruse
Regina Kunzel, also Gender and Sexuality Studies
Michael F. Laffan
Nancy Weiss Malkiel
Philip G. Nord
Willard J. Peterson, also East Asian Studies
Anson G. Rabinbach
Martha A. Sandweiss
Emily A. Thompson
Keith A. Wailoo, also Woodrow Wilson School
R. Sean Wilentz
Julian E. Zelizer, also Woodrow Wilson School
Janet Y. Chen, also East Asian Studies
Erika Lorraine Milam
Adam G. Beaver
Vera S. Candiani
James A. Dun
Yaacob Dweck, also Judaic Studies
Joshua B. Guild, also African American Studies
Eleanor K. Hubbard
Robert A. Karl
Matthew J. Karp
Jonathan I. Levy
Rosina A. Lozano
Federico Marcon, also East Asian Studies
M’hamed Oualdi, also Near Eastern Studies
Rebecca A. Rix
Clare Teresa M. Shawcross
Jack B. Tannous
Max D. Weiss, also Near Eastern Studies
Visiting Assistant Professor
Lecturer with Rank of Professor
Barbara B. Oberg
Caley D. Horan
Stefan Kamola, also Council of the Humanities
Wallace D. Best, Religion, African American Studies
Michael A. Cook, Near Eastern Studies
M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Near Eastern Studies
Bernard A. Haykel, Near Eastern Studies
Eileen A. Reeves, Comparative Literature
Under the aegis of the Department of History, the Program in the History of Science treats science as an intellectual, cultural, and social phenomenon. Recognizing that the study of the history and social aspects of science requires special training and techniques not normally included in the education of professional historians or other scholars, the program provides qualified students with that special training, while at the same time prepares them to teach and work in general history. Students in the program are also members of the Department of History and, upon completion of their studies, are awarded their degrees by that department.
In making an application to the University, interested students should specify the Program in the History of Science as their chosen field of study. Ideally, applicants should have a solid undergraduate background in science (although not necessarily a science degree), and some prior exposure to history or the history of science. Inquiries may be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dickinson Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544.
Program students should demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages as soon as possible after enrollment. French and German are normally recommended, but other languages relevant to the student’s prospective research may be substituted with the approval of the director of graduate studies. Candidates are not readmitted for a fifth term of study or permitted to complete the general examination until the language requirement has been satisfied.
The general examination is normally taken at the end of the second year and consists of three sets of written and oral examinations in (1) a major field in the history of science; (2) a minor field in another area of history; and (3) one of the following options: (a) “general” history of science—traditionally known as “Plato-to-NATO,” (b) a second special field in the history of science, (c) a second field in other branches of history, or (d) a field in some related subject, for example, philosophy of science or some branch of science or mathematics. Precise definitions of fields, and special concentrations within them, are worked out in consultation with the director of graduate studies for the Program in the History of Science and an appropriate faculty member in another area of history or another department.
In addition to preparing for the general examination, students are advised to take seminars in the history of science that do not fall within their examination fields. Students focusing on European or American science are expected to take at least one course that deals with science, medicine or technology in the non-Western world. Students are encouraged to look beyond the program as they pursue suitable coursework or language study related to their particular scholarly interests.
Students are required to write two research papers based on primary sources before sitting for the general examination. Students often write one of these research papers in the context of a graduate seminar, and another based on independent research. Usually at least one involves close analysis of primary scientific or technical texts.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy, but also may be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program. Students who have satisfactorily passed all required coursework (with all incompletes resolved), fulfilled the language requirements in their field of study and completed the two required research papers, may be awarded an M.A. degree.
A student who completes all departmental requirements (coursework, language examinations and research papers, with no incompletes from the first year and first semester of the second year), but fails the general examination, may on the advice of the department take it a second time. If the student fails the general examination the second time, then Ph.D. candidacy is automatically terminated. The student must then resolve any incompletes from the final semester’s coursework, before the M.A. may be awarded.
Program students are not required to teach in order to retain fellowship support, but most choose to do so both because of the intrinsic rewards of the experience and because prospective academic employers increasingly expect it. Ordinarily, students who have completed the general examination and who desire teaching experience will have an opportunity to do some undergraduate teaching either in history of science or in other areas in the history department, which may call upon program students to teach in areas in which they have established competence. The director of graduate studies works in conjunction with the chair of the history department to make teaching assignments for history of science courses and, where appropriate, other history courses.
Students devote their last three years of study to the research for and writing of a dissertation. The dissertation ordinarily falls within a special field in the history of science that constitutes part of the student’s general examination. By December 1 of his or her third year of enrollment, each student is required to submit a detailed dissertation prospectus and outline for faculty approval; the deadline for students who take the general examination at a time other than May of the second year will be arranged in consultation with the director of graduate studies. Where research requires an absence abroad or elsewhere in this country, it usually takes place during the fourth year so that students may most effectively combine completion of the dissertation with the search for employment during the fifth year. Upon completion of the dissertation and its approval by at least two readers (usually, but not necessarily, members of the Department of History), the student takes a final public oral examination devoted to a defense of the dissertation and a discussion of its implications for further work.
HOS 591/COM 591/PHI 591 - The Scientific Revolution
This course explores problems in the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, including both the development of scientific thought and practice and the changing role of science in the surrounding culture. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include mathematics, mechanics, experimentation, and Isaac Newton.
HOS 592/HIS 592 Science in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
HOS 593/HIS 593 Science from the Enlightenment to the Present
This course explores problems in the history of science since the Scientific Revolution. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include the history of science in America since the Civil War, the formation of new scientific disciplines in the 19th century, and science in the Enlightenment.
HOS 594/HIS 594 History of Medicine
HOS 595/HIS 595 Introduction to Historiography of Science
Angela N. Creager
HOS 596 History of the Life Sciences
Angela N. Creager
HOS 597/HIS 597 History of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences
HOS 599/HIS 599 Special Topics in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Michael D. Gordin