University of Mississippi, Department of Biology, BISC571, History of Biology
Biology 571 -- History of Biology -- Spring 2017
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, Professor of Biology;
328 Shoemaker; 662-915-5803;
Office hours: TuTh 9:30-10:30 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 (328 Shoemaker Hall; TuTh 8:00 - 9:45 am) and assigned readings (M-Magner, C-Cobb, chapter numbers).
31 Jan Generation: Experimental investigations (Cobb, Chs. 4-6; Redi)|
24 Jan Introduction, course objectives and requirements
26 Jan Generation: The process of science (Cobb, Prologue and Chs. 1-3, Magner, Ch. 5)
2 Feb Generation: Synthesis (Cobb, Chs. 7-8; Hooke)
7 Feb Pasteur's laboratory notebooks (Geison, Ch. 1) and studies of spontaneous generation (Geison, Ch. 5)|
Spontaneous generation, continued (Geison, Ch. 5)
Pasteur's development of the anthrax vaccine (Geison, Ch. 6)|
Pasteur and the rabies vaccine (Geison, Chs. 7 & 8)
Pasteur and the rabies vaccine ;Critiques of Pasteur's science (Geison, Perutz, Summers)|
Early work in developmental biology -- Spemann-Mangold and other contributors (Magner, pp. 195-202; Sander and Faessler, 2001; Lenhoff, 1991)
Twentieth century studies of origin of life (Oparin, Haldane, Miller, Cairns-Smith, Orgel)|
Interview with Miller on 70th birthday; Russell, Hazen, Szostak
Genetics in the early days (Mendel)|
Controversies about Mendel's work (Fairbanks and Rytting, 2001; Fisher, 1936; Other commentaries)
14 & 16 Mar Spring Break |
21 Mar The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Summaries of Kuhn on Blackboard; Magner, Ch. 4)
Geology, paleontology and the age of the earth (Magner. Ch. 8) and Readings on Blackboard|
Development of the species concept and evolution: Darwin and Wallce, Blyth and Matthews
30 Mar Originality of Darwin's contribution (Bowler 2009, Costa 2009); differences between Darwin and Wallace; Darwin's Five Bridges |
4 Apr Discovery of the structure of DNA (Hudson, Ch. 3); Role of gender, collaboration, politeness, deceit
Science as a public process
11 Apr Science as a public process; Take home final handed out; due May 4, 4 pm
9 May Final examination, 8 am Tuesday
Last Modified: Monday, 24 January 2017
Copyright © 2017 Stephen Threlkeld. All Rights reserved.