History and Anthropology of Medicine and Biology

An illustration from a natural history book on whales, showing the comparative anatomy across species, including dugong and bowhead whales.
This illustration compares the anatomy of the hand across several species. These anatomical differences are important in the classification of life. Diagram E is a human arm, useful for comparison. (Hamilton, Robert. "The Natural History of the Ordinary Cetacea, or Whales." 1837.)


MIT Course Number

STS.330 / HS.246 / 21A.319

As Taught In

Spring 2013



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This course explores recent historical and anthropological approaches to the study of medicine and biology. Topics might include interaction of disease and society; science, colonialism, and international health; impact of new technologies on medicine and the life sciences; neuroscience and psychiatry; race, biology and medicine. Specific emphasis varies from year to year.

Helmreich, Stefan, and David Jones. STS.330 History and Anthropology of Medicine and Biology, Spring 2013. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/science-technology-and-society/sts-330-history-and-anthropology-of-medicine-and-biology-spring-2013 (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.