History of science

Course Dates: 05/06/23 - 03/07/23
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
In this course we consider the history of science, from its origins in ancient Greece and before, its development through the alchemy of the middle ages and into the modern period, with the present diversification into biology, chemistry and physics. We will alsoconsider the increasing impact of science on society and possible future directions.
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Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £55.00

Course Code: HS298

Mon, day, 05 Jun - 03 Jul '23

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

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What is the course about?

Science has brought about numerous changes in the way humans live, such as longer life spans as the result of advances in medicine, the ability to communicate with people around the world through computers and mobile devices, and a far greater understanding of the physical world around us. But what is science? How has it enabled us to make so much progress over the past 300 years? In this course we consider the history of science, tracing its origins back to ancient Greece and before, its development through the alchemy of the middle ages and into the modern period, with the diversification into biology, chemistry and physics as we know them today. Along the way we consider the increasing impact of science on society and we conclude by considering possible future directions in science.

What will we cover?

Undifferentiated origins – evidence of scientific thought in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece
Gold from lead – medieval alchemy and its transformation into chemistry and physics
From Renaissance to Enlightment – the first steps towards a mechanistic approach to science
From science to the sciences – the emergence of biology, chemistry and physics as separate disciplines
How we got here – the story of the sciences from 1800 to the present day.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Explain how scientific thought developed, and how it has flourished over the past 300 years
Identify how biology, chemistry and physics emerged as separate but interconnected disciplines
Describe the scientific method and assess its importance in our understanding of the world around us.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for beginners. No prior knowledge of science is assumed or required, but the course is designed to be of interest to those who have studied science as well.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught face to face in a number of different ways including presentations with visual examples and discussions. Work outside class will be optional.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs. If you wish to take notes you will find it useful to have a pen and paper, but the Powerpoints will be made available online.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please check our Science & Nature courses on the website.

Gary Retallick

Dr. Gary Retallick got his Phd in Physics at Kings college in London in 2006. His dissertation explored the physics of time, touching upon relativity, field equations, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and metaphysics. Followng a stint within the world of teaching philosophy, Gary now teaches physics and mathematics at both Birkbeck College and the Open University alongside running several physics, chemistry and maths courses at City Lit (incl. Cornish).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.