中国科学院自然科学史研究所

2011

6/156/176/276/297/2

科技革命与美国现代化

Science, Technology, and Modernization in US History

 

Instructor: 王作跃 Zuoyue Wang                                          Office: 自然科学史所609

Summer Quarter 2011                                                            Office Hours: TBA

Class Hours: M/W/Fri (or Sat) 9:00am-12:00pm                            

Classroom: 科学史所五楼510会议室                     Email: zywang@csupomona.edu

Course website: http://www.csupomona.edu/~zywang/amsciihnscas2011.html

 

课程简介:本课程是一个压缩性的两周短课程,研究美国近现代科技和现代化过程,包括科技革命、科技政策,从19世纪末到21世纪初的历史发展,尤其注重在美国和世界史的广阔背景下来研究科技与社会的互动。内容包括:19世纪末二十世纪初美国工业化革命和各项技术发明,包括电灯,电话,和汽车的涌现及其社会文化影响,以及爱迪生,贝尔,福特等发明家的研究;二十世纪二十年代美国科学,尤其是物理学的崛起;二次世界大战中的科技,尤其是原子弹的研制和使用;冷战时期的科技政策,包括核军备竞赛,奥本海默案件,苏联卫星的影响,总统科学顾问委员会的兴衰,阿波罗登月计划等;现代环保运动的兴起,从卡逊的《寂静的春天》到全球变暖;尼克松访华以后中美科技教育交流;二十世纪末二十一世纪初的科技发展,尤其是信息技术—计算机和网络—和生物技术的发展和所引起的影响和争论;911和反恐战争对科技政策的影响;奥巴马的科技政策。贯穿这些案例的分析主题有:在美国近代史上,科技革命与发展是如何与现代化联系在一起?科学家在政府政策里起到了什么样的作用?社会对科技发展持什么样的态度:乐观,悲观,谨慎存疑?

 

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。课程末期学生需要提交一篇短文。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。

 

Required Books:

Thomas P. Hughes, American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm,1870-1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). (preview at Google Books and Amazon)

Zuoyue Wang, In Sputnik’s Shadow: The President’s Science Advisory Committee and Cold War America (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008). (previews at Google Books and Amazon)

William Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). (Preview at Amazon.)

In addition there will be online reading assignments.

Assignments: There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, and a term paper.  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 and approved by Prof. Wang in advance.  At the beginning of the class, try to thumb through the texts to get an overview of the topics we will be studying and think about what topics you would like to write on.  Try to avoid big, overtly general topics, such as “A History of the Atomic Bomb.”  Instead, try to narrow it down to something like “Albert Einstein and the Atomic Bomb.”  Check out this link (www.csupomona.edu/~zywang/topics.html) on my website and read our Storey text for further suggestions.  You are required to submit and discuss with Prof. Wang the topic and a one-paragraph write-up on your paper by the date indicated in the schedule below.  Please also notice the due dates for a draft and the final version of your paper.  The finished paper should be about 2-3 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.

 

A good paper will have a clear thesis statement, supported by a narrative built on a variety of evidence such as scholarly books and articles, reports in newspapers or magazines, or oral history interviews.  It can describe an event or individual, but should explain how that event or individual does or does not fit in the general themes of this class.  See a sample paper by Melissa Mikanami on “The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster of 1986.”

 

Final Exam: Write a paragraph 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?”

 

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.

 

Work Sheets 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.

 

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 in grading.

3.     Repeated, unexcused absences will considerably lower your grade for the class. 

4.     Cell phones should be on silent mode during class period; no text messaging—either sending or receiving—is allowed once class starts.

5.     Use of a laptop is allowed only for taking notes; no web browsing or any other use is allowed unless authorized specifically by instructor.

6.     In general, activities not related to this class are prohibited during class: e.g. checking messages or chatting with each other.

7.     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: 1/3; Term Paper: 1/3, final exam 1/3.

 

Topics and Reading Assignments (subject to change):

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.  Click on the topics for the associated worksheets; following the titles and in parentheses are the relevant reading assignments.

 

Session 1: Wednesday 6/15

(Lecture 1 Notes)

 

Part 1: Introduction; American science policy under Obama

Read: 王作跃,为什么美国没有设立科技部?”《科学文化评论》2005 2卷第5, 36-49;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?” Harvey Mudd College Magazine, Winter 2008, 16-17; 郭凯,“展望美国新政府的科技政策”大众科技报,2009年2月3日;read and watch Barack Obama, “The Necessity of Science,” April 27, 2009, speech at the National Academy of Sciences; browse National Research Council, How People Learn (1990); John Cloud, “How the Stereotypes Defeat the Stereotyped” (“Why Your Memory May Not Be So Bad After All”), Time, June 1, 2009; read “Four Types of Learning.”

 

Resources for term paper projects:

Time Magazine (all issues from the beginning in 1923 to the present)

Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Foreign Relations of the United States

AIP History of Physics Center

NASA History: News and Notes

National Air and Space Museum Oral History Projects

IEEE History Center, especially its wonderful full-text oral history interviews related to computer history

Einstein Papers Project

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Niels Bohr Archives

FBI Freedom of Information Act Reading Room, e.g., full-text of its files on Albert Einstein.

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)

For more links, see Links on Primary Sources in History of Science and US History and US Science Policy

 

Part 2: From inventors to technological systems

Read: Hughes, browsing from beginning to p. 183. 

Videos in class: The Telephone and Edison's Miracle of Light

 

Session 2: Friday 6/17

Lecture 2 Notes

 

Part 1: The debate over scientific management or Taylorism

Read: Hughes, browsing pp. 184-203 

Video in class: Modern Times (first 20 minutes).

 

Part 2: Henry Ford and mass production

Read: Hughes, 203-248.

Video in class: Henry Ford

 

Part 3: The making of the atomic bomb

Read: Hughes, 353-381 (browse); 381-442 (read).

Video in class: J. Robert Oppenheimer

 

Session 3: Monday 6/27

(Lecture 3 Notes)

 

 

Part 1: The use of the atomic bomb

Read: Truman Library—The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb (browse); Wang, beginning to p. 22. 

Video in class: Hiroshima: Why Was the Bomb Dropped.

Part 2: 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.

Due: Worksheets

Due: Term Paper Topic (a title and a paragraph of explanation) and a list of sources—can be printed on back of worksheet.

 

Session 4: Wednesday 6/29

(Lecture 4 Notes and Lecture 4a on Writing)

 

Part 1: Modern environmental movement

Read: Wang, 199-218.

Video in class: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

 

Part 2: Post-9/11 Challenges

Read: Wang, 219-324 (browse).

Video in class: Bioterror

 

Part 3: How to write a history paper in English

Read: Storey book.

 

Due: Worksheet

Due: One-page review of Storey book (optional).

 

Session 5: Saturday 7/2

(Lecture 5 Notes)

 

Part 1: 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).

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. 

 

Part 3: Group discussion and presentation of term papers.

 

Due: term paper draft.

 

Final exam (1 paragraph) and final version of term (2-3 pages) paper due via email to Dr. Wang: July 8, 2011.