University of Mississippi, Department of Biology, BISC571, History of Biology
Biology 571 -- History of Biology -- Spring 2016
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, Professor of Biology;
328 Shoemaker; 662-915-5803;
Office hours: MW 9-10:30 am, or by appointment.
Course Description History of major developments in biology from ancient to modern times, with emphasis on scientific methods, the role of technology, scientific communication, and societal impact.
Lois N. Magner 2002. A history of the life sciences. Third edition, revised and expanded. Marcel Dekker; Matthew Cobb. 2006. Generation. Bloomsbury; and other readings as assigned.
Course grading Grades will be based on class participation (reading, discussion, and in-class writing assignments 50%), and a take-home final examination (50%); graduate students taking the course will also be required to complete an independent
research paper on a major figure or theme in the history of biology (combined in 50% of grade for participation).
Schedule of classes (114 Shoemaker Hall; TuTh 9:30-10:45 am) and assigned readings (M-Magner, C-Cobb, chapter numbers).
2 Feb Generation: Experimental investigations (Cobb, Chs. 3 & 4; Redi)|
26 Jan Introduction, course objectives and requirements
28 Jan Generation: The process of science (Cobb, Prologue and Chs. 1 & 2, Magner, Ch. 5)
4 Feb Generation: Synthesis (Cobb, Chs. 5 & 6)
9 Feb Generation: Impact of new technologies (Cobb, Chs. 7 & 8; Hooke)|
11 Feb Origins of the life sciences (Magner, Ch. 1; Hippocrates)
16 Feb Biology among the Greeks and Romans to the Medieval and the Renaissance (Magner, Chs. 2 & 3; Harvey)|
18 Feb The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Summaries of Kuhn on Blackboard; Magner, Ch. 4)
23 Feb Pasteur's laboratory notebooks (Geison, Ch. 1) and studies of spontaneous generation (Geison, Ch. 5)|
25 Feb Spontaneous generation, continued (Geison, Ch. 5)
1 Mar Pasteur's development of the anthrax vaccine (Geison, Ch. 6)|
3 Mar Pasteur and the rabies vaccine (Geison, Chs. 7 & 8)
8 Mar Pasteur and the rabies vaccine|
10 Mar Critiques of Pasteur's science (Geison, Perutz, Summers)
15 & 17 Mar Spring Break |
22 Mar Geology, paleontology and the age of the earth (Magner. Ch. 8) and Readings on Blackboard
24 Mar Development of the species concept and evolution:
Darwin and Wallace, Blyth and Matthews |
29 Mar Originality of Darwin's contribution (Bowler 2009, Costa 2009)
31 Mar Dawkin's Five Bridges |
5 Apr Genetics in the early days (Mendel)
7 Apr Controversies about Mendel's work (Fairbanks and Rytting, 2001; Fisher, 1936; Other commentaries)|
12 Apr Early work in developmental biology -- Spemann-Mangold and other contributors (Magner, pp. 195-202; Sander and Faessler, 2001; Lenhoff, 1991)
14 Apr Discovery of the structure of DNA (Hudson, Ch. 3)|
19 Apr Role of gender, collaboration, politeness, deceit
21 Apr Twentieth century studies of origin of life (Oparin, Haldane, Miller, Cairns-Smith, Orgel)|
26 Apr Interview with Miller on 70th birthday; Russell, Hazen, Szostak
28 Apr Science as a public process (Mooney, Ch. 4 and Epilogue)|
3 May Science as a public process, continued
5 May Science as a public process, continued |
12 May Final examination and presentations, 8 am Thursday
Last Modified: Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Copyright © 2015 Stephen Threlkeld. All Rights reserved.