美国近现代科技史History of Modern American Science and Technology
Instructor: 王作跃 Office: TBA
Summer Quarter 2009 Office Hours: TBA
Class Hours: MWF 1:30-4:00pm
Classroom: 教学楼阶二3教室 Email: email@example.com
Course website: http://www.csupomona.edu/~zywang/amscigucas2009.html
课程主要用英文进行，包括讲演，讨论，教科书和其他阅读资料，播放的纪录片等。课程的主要教科书是 Thomas Hughes, American Genesis.因课程的压缩性，学生需要能够在短时间内进行大量的英文资料的阅读，并进行大量的英文写作练习。课程末期学生需要参加一个课堂考试和并提交一篇课外短文。课程的目的：上完这门课，学生应该对美国近现代科技发展的历史和现状有一个比较完整的了解，能够发展自己的批判性思维能力，能够改进自己英文口语和写作能力，能够比较熟悉如何使用英文原始文献和研究文献。
William Kelleher Storey, Writing History:
A Guide for Students (
In addition there will be online reading assignments.
Assignments: There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, a term paper, and a final exam. Good writing, attendance, and active participation in discussions count in this class as we aim to improve not only our historical knowledge but also our written and oral communication skills.
Term Paper: You are required to write a paper on a topic related to the
class. Due to the shortness of time, I
would suggest that you pick up two articles from Time magazine’s archives
covering two different periods, such as the 1950s and 1970s. Then you can summarize them, and compare them
to show how public perceptions of science in the
The finished paper should be about 2 pages, double-spaced, with 12 point font and one inch margin on all sides, printed on plain paper, stapled at the upper-left corner (no plastic cover or binding please). All writings in this class are evaluated for both grammar and content and there will be discussions of paper drafts later in the quarter. See a sample paper by Melissa Mikanami on “The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster of 1986.”
Information Literacy beyond Wikipedia: As the open online encyclopedia becomes a popular source of information, we will learn how to use it effectively so we can benefit from its strengths while avoiding its pitfalls. It is an exercise in information literacy. As a rule of thumb, you are encouraged to use it as a starting point of research but generally not as an end point. We will discuss why scholarly (peer-reviewed) books and articles, some of them maybe available online from our library’s databases, are preferred sources of information and analysis.
Worksheets and Discussions: Please complete the reading assignments before each session. To help you manage the reading assignments, a one-page worksheet is linked with each topic which you are required to fill out using a word processor and bring to class. We will use these worksheets for in-class discussions where you will be asked to comment on assigned readings and raise your questions about them for discussions.
Examinations: There will be one final exam, which covers the whole class. Before the exam, Prof. Wang will collect suggestions for questions from students.
Ground rules to ensure a suitable learning environment for everyone:
1. Avoid late entry or early exit without instructor's prior authorization.
2. Late works will be penalized by 1/3 letter grade per day, e.g. B to B- if one day late.
3. Repeated, unexcused absences will considerably lower your grade for the class.
4. Signing-in for another student on the attendance sheet when that student is absent is an act of misconduct subject to disciplinary actions.
5. Cell phones should be turned off during class period; no text messaging—either sending or receiving—is allowed once class starts.
6. Use of a laptop is allowed only for taking notes; no web browsing or any other use is allowed unless authorized specifically by instructor.
7. In general, activities not related to this class are prohibited during class: e.g., newspaper-reading, doing work for another class, and chatting with each other.
8. If you do not use your GUCAS email account regularly, you will need to set it up so any email sent to your GUCAS account will be forwarded to an email address you do use regularly.
9. Plagiarism and other misconducts: Presenting ideas and writing of others as one's own without proper credit or citation is a serious academic offense and will lead to automatic failure in this class and possible further disciplinary actions.
Grading (general guideline):
Attendance, Work Sheets, Participation in Discussions: 25%; Final Exam: 35%; Term Paper: 40%.
The lectures will cover only a few major events in depth but the students should read the texts to gain a comprehensive understanding of developments covered in class. Do all the assigned readings BEFORE each session and don’t forget to fill out and bring to class the Worksheet (click on it to get the form) for each session. Those pages of the reading marked “Browse” are optional (read them if you have time).
Monday 6/8: Introduction; American science policy under Obama; Lecture 1 Notes
Read: 王作跃，“为什么美国没有设立科技部?”《科学文化评论》2005年 第2卷第5期, 36-49页;王作跃，“当代美国科技政策的变迁：从卫星危机到９．１１”，科技时报，２００７年９月４日；Richard Olson and Zuoyue Wang, “What
Can We Expect from the New [Obama] Administration?”
Resources for term paper projects:
Time Magazine (all issues from the beginning in 1923 to the present)
What’s New (weekly newsletter on American science policy)
General Accounting Office has apparently put all of its reports and publications online in PDF format.
Library of Congress collections in science and technology (see esp. Wright Brothers and Alexander Graham Bell papers)
Part 1: From inventors to technological systems; Lecture 2 Notes
Read: Hughes, pp. 1-24 (read), 15-170 (browse), 170-172 (read), 173-183 (read).
Videos in class: The Telephone
Part 2: The debate over scientific management or Taylorism
Read: Hughes, 184-203 (browse)
Part 3: Henry Ford and mass production
Read: Hughes, 203-248 (browse).
Friday 6/12 Lecture 3 Notes
Part 1: The
Read: Hughes, 353-381 (browse); 381-442 (read).
Video in class: Birth of the Bomb
Part 2: The use of the atomic bomb
Read: Truman Library—The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb (browse); Wang, xi-22.
Video in class:
2. Term Paper Topic (a title and a paragraph of explanation) and a list of sources—can be printed on back of worksheet.
Part 1: Science and technology during the Cold War
Read: Wang, 71-87 (read).
Video in class: CNN Cold War: Sputnik.
Video in class: Dr. Wang interview on the 50th anniversary (10/4/2007) of Sputnik.
Part 2: How to write a history paper in English
Read: Storey book (browse). Review: Citation Style and Tips on Writing
2. One-paragraph review of Storey book (optional)
Wednesday 6/17 Lecture 5 Notes
Part 1: Modern environmental movement
Read: Wang, 199-218 (read). Hughes, 443-472 (read).
Video in class: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Part 2: New technological enthusiasm and debate on global warming
Read: Thomas Hughes, “Forward,” American Genesis. Wang, 311-324 (read); Naomi Oreskes, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science 306 (December 3, 2004): 1686 and “Testimony…US Senate,” December 6, 2006. Zuoyue Wang and Naomi Oreskes, “History of Science and American Science Policy,” Isis 99, no. 2 (June 2008): 365-373. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, 2007 (browse).
2. 2-page, double-spaced term paper draft.
Friday 6/19 Lecture 6 Notes
Part 1: Video in class: Hot Politics.
Part 2: US-China scientific exchange and Chinese American scientists
Read: Wang, "US-China Scientific Exchange: A Case Study of State-Sponsored Scientific Internationalism during the Cold War and beyond." Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 30, pt. 1 (1999): 249-277.
Due (bring print versions and email them to me at zuoyuewang at gmail.com)
1. Term Paper, 2-page, double-spaced
2. Final exam: 2-page, double-spaced essay on “What have I learned in this class (describe three topics covered in the class), how will this class help me in my future study and career, and any suggestions for future improvement of the course?”