There will be a weekly reading assignment of up to about 80 pages and requiring about four hours. The reading assignments will come from several sources. Readings are listed by session below. The texts with an abbreviation preceeding the citation are recommended for purchase and are referenced in the table using their abbreviation. Additional texts and articles are referenced in the table by author and year. Not all sessions will have additional readings.
HP97 - Hatton, J., and P. B. Plouffe. Science and Its Ways of Knowing. Princeton, NJ: Benjamin Cummings; 1 edition, 1996. ISBN: 9780132055765.
M79 - Medawar, P. Advice to a Young Scientist. New York, NY: Harpercollins Childrens Books; 1st ed edition, 1979. ISBN: 9780060130299.
NAS95 - National Academy of Sciences. On Being a Scientist, Responsible Conduct in Research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780309051965.
C99 - Chalmers, A. What is This Thing Called Science? New York, NY: Open University Press; 3rd edition, 1999. ISBN: 9780335201099.
Anholt, R. Dazzle’em With Style, the Art of Scientific Presentation. Burlington, MA: Academic Press; 2 edition, 2005. ISBN: 9780123694522.
Bishop, C. How to Edit a Scientific Journal. Philadelphia, PA: ISI Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780894950339.
Bronowski, J. “The creative process.” Scientific American 1995 (1958): 4-11.
Dodd, J. The ACS Style Guide. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1997. ISBN: 9780841234628.
Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780226458083.
Klemke, E., R. Hollinger, D. Rudge, and A. Kline. Introductory Readings in the Philosophy of Science. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. ISBN: 9781573922401.
Miller, D. Popper Selections. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. ISBN: 9780691020310.
Woodward, J., and D. Goodstein. “Conduct, misconduct and the structure of science.” American Scientist 84 (1996): 479-490.
Zucker, A. Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995. ISBN: 9780024321046.
In most cases the readings are one or a few chapters extracted from a long monograph. Even well written chapters taken out of their context will lose some clarity and some of their meaning, and, for example, it would be much better to read Medawar’s Advice to a Young Scientist straight through rather than in bits and pieces as is indicated in this syllabus. Because the reading selections come from a wide range of sources you will often notice a significant and sometimes jarring difference in style and perspective from one piece to the next. This can make the articles a good deal harder to assimilate on first reading than they would be if we could take the time to read the full volume from which they are taken.
|Part 1: What Is Science, and How Does It Work?|
|1-3||The Goals and Institutions of Natural Science||
The Goals and Institutions of Natural Science
Scientific Progress and Change
Session 1: Required
Bronowski. 1995, pp. 5-11.
Popper. In HP97. pp. 81-87.
Bauer. In HP97. pp. 25-37.
Session 1: Additional Readings
M79. Preface and chapters 1-4.
Popper. In Miller. 1985, pp. 25-32.
Session 2: Required
Ziman. In Klemke, et al. 1998, pp. 48-53.
Popper. In Miller. 1985, pp. 163-179.
C99. Introduction and chapter 1.
Session 2: Additional Readings
M79. Chapters 5-7.
Root-Bernstein. In HP97. pp. 107-118.
Session 3: Required
Kuhn. 1996, chapter 9.
C99. Chapter 8.
|4-8||The Process of Scientific Research||
Theory and Observation
Elements of Scientific Method
The Practice of Scientific Method
Explanation in the Physical Sciences
Explanation in the Life Sciences
Session 4: Required
C99. Chapters 2, 3, and 13.
Collins and Pinch. In HP97. pp. 37-45.
Session 4: Additional Readings
M79. Chapter 9.
Scudder. In HP97. pp. 143-146.
Session 5: Required
C99. Chapters 4 and 5.
M79. Chapter 11.
Session 6: Required
C99. Chapters 6,7,10, and 11.
Feyerabend. In Zucker. pp. 186-189. Generic Proposal Problems, NSF.
Session 7: Required
Salmon. 1992, pp. 7-41.
Weinberg. In Best American Science Writing. 2002, pp. 258-272.
Session 8: Required
Mayr, E. Toward a New Philosophy of Biology. 1988, essays 1 and 2, pp. 8-37.
Jenkins, S. H. How Science Works? 2004, chapter 4, pp. 53-72.
|9-10||Ethics of Scientific Research||
Free and Open Communication?
The Reward System in Science
Session 9: Required
NAS95. pp. 1-12.
M79. Chapter 6.
Sayre. In HP97. pp. 124-131.
Session 10: Required
NAS95. pp. 12-28.
Bishop. 1984, chapter 6.
Woodward and Goodstein. 1996.
|Part 2: Communication|
Session 11: Required
M79. Chapter 8.
Dodd. 1986, chapter 1.
Medawar. 1990, pp. 228-233.
Session 12: Required
M79. Chapter 8.
Anholt. 1994, chapter 1 and 2.
|13-16||The Practice of Scientific Communication||
In the remainder of the semester the participants will have a chance to give a short oral report of their thesis research (or of a paper they find interesting) to a critical but sympathetic audience, their classmates.
Our goal in these short seminars is to emphasize the beginning and the end