For historians of science, digging into historical details and developing narratives gives their work an intrinsic value and no further justification is needed. They rarely question the value of the history of science outside the field. In particular, they rarely ask such questions as "What is the value of the history for Science?"
We start with the hypothesis that science is actually made better when it embraces an historical perspective, and will explore whether and in what way this is true. We will exmaine myths about how the scientific enterprise works, emphasizing the importance of accident and local contigency in science, exploring the role of assumptions and choices made in science, and working on exmmaples of how such selections have shaped the scientific results.
Seminar Directors: John Beatty, University of British Columbia; James Collins, Arizona State University; Jane Maienschein, Arizona State University
Organizers for 2007: Jane Maienschein and George Smith, Tufts University.