Science, Technology, and Modernization in US History
Instructor: 王作跃 Zuoyue Wang Office: 自然科学史所609室
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course website: http://www.csupomona.edu/~zywang/amsciihnscas2011.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。
Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (
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.
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
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)
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)
Read: Hughes, browsing from beginning to p. 183.
Videos in class: The Telephone and Edison's Miracle of Light
Session 2: Friday 6/17
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
Read: Hughes, 353-381 (browse); 381-442 (read).
Video in class: J. Robert Oppenheimer
Session 3: Monday 6/27
Read: Truman Library—The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb (browse); Wang, beginning to p. 22.
Video in class:
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: 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
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: One-page review of Storey book (optional).
Session 5: Saturday 7/2
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.
Due: term paper draft.