Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Courses Offered
Science, Technology and Society

A list of regularly offered courses follows. The indication of when a course will be offered is based on the best projection of the home department and can be subject to change.

Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement; (W) Writing requirement.


117. The Environment and Human Values. (S)

Study of historical and modern attitudes toward nature; human use of nature’s resources; effects of the growth of science and technology on human uses of and attitudes toward the environment; and the ability of modern humans to substantially alter the environment (e.g., by altering global temperature). Key concepts: human population growth; the notion of “limits to growth”; and the difficulty of managing the use of common pool resources. Same as ENV 117.                                                        Staff

223. Biomedical Ethics. (H)

Ethical issues related to developments in biology and medicine, including population control, genetic engineering and the allocation of medical resources. Same as PHI 223.                                                                               Merli

311. History of Medicine. (S) (NSP)

The history of medicine with particular attention to American medicine. The relationship between medicine and society is studied in its historical context. We look in detail at some trends in modern medicine and the current debate over national health care policy in light of the history of medicine. Same as HIS 311.                                                                     Strick

312. Environmental History. (S)

Examination of various approaches to environmental and ecological history. Focuses on ways in which the physical and biological world have affected human history and on ways in which human social and political organization, economic activities, cultural values and scientific theories have shaped our alteration and conservation of nature. Selected case studies from environmental and ecological history, with emphasis on the 17th through the 20th centuries. Same as ENV 312.                        Strick

313. Nuclear Weapons, Power and Waste Disposal. (S) (NSP)

Development of nuclear technology, beginning with the atomic bomb efforts of WW II. The course deals first with the technology itself, as well as with the ways in which it was embedded in and drove American and international politics, including the arms race and the Cold War. Includes postwar development of civilian nuclear power reactors, creation of the Atomic Energy Commission and the national debate over nuclear power and waste disposal methods. Same as ENV 313.                        Strick

315. Health Risks in the Environment.

Known and emerging environmental hazards represent significant public health risks to vulnerable populations. Case studies include lead, tobacco, asthma, nutrition, and endocrine-disrupting compounds as well as common airborne and waterborne chemical and biological pollutants. The course develops an understanding of acute, chronic and cumulative health risks that result from short-term and long-term environmental exposures. Important epidemiological, demographic and environmental justice parameters are incorporated into students’ projects that focus on at-risk groups, such as children, the elderly and immuno-compromised individuals. Same as ENV 315.           Everett

337. Philosophy of Natural Science. (H) (NSP)

The goals, methods, assumptions and limitations of natural science. Special attention will be paid to the philosophy of psychology, cognitive science and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor. Same as PHI/SPM 337.                                                                                                                                      Ross

352. Lead Poisoning and Asthma in Urban Lancaster. (S)

Students learn about the epidemiology of asthma and lead poisoning, the pathways of exposure, and methods for community outreach and education. As it is a Community-Based Learning (CBL) course, students will work in service to the local community by collaborating with local school teachers and students in lessons that apply environmental research relating to lead poisoning and asthma in their homes and neighborhoods. They also take soil samples from locations in Lancaster and test their lead levels. Same as ENV/PBH 352.        Kulik

384. Changing Views of the Earth, 1650 – 1850. (S)

A Very Wreck of a World: speculative cosmologies, descriptive natural history and the origins of a science of the Earth. The age of the Earth and our “Place in Nature”: a fall from grace, limitless horizons and the Victorian commitment to progress. National and social origins of the science and scientists. Relation of new geological concepts to the Industrial Revolution and contemporary cultural themes, including their expression in the arts. Same as GEO 384.                                                       Thomas

385. The Darwinian Revolution. (S) (NSP)

This seminar course draws on historical and scientific work to analyze the roots of Darwinian thinking in economics, social policy toward the poor, religious thought, politics and the sciences in which Darwin was trained. In individual research projects, students assess the ways in which “Darwinism” was applied for social, political, economic and theological purposes, as well as scientific ones. This course provides the historical background necessary for understanding Darwinian biology and the present-day Creation/evolution conflict. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor required for first-year students to enroll. Same as HIS 385.             Strick

386. Changing Concepts of the Universe. (NSP)

Historical examination of primitive and early cosmologies to present-day theories of the organization, extent and nature of the universe. Early Greek astronomy to present-day “big bang” theory. Use of simple astronomical instruments to reproduce observations of early astronomers. (Not a laboratory course.) Same as AST 386.                                   K.A. Miller

387. Archaeoastronomy. (NSP)

Fundamental astronomy of ancient cultures; Stonehenge and other stone rings in England and Europe; circles and temples in the Americas, Asia and Africa; time-keeping and calendars; predictions of seasons and eclipses. Methods of analysis; motions of celestial bodies; use of planetarium, celestial globes and grids; surveying of sites. (Not a laboratory course.) Same as AST 387. E. Praton

388. Public Health Research: Pregnancy Outcomes in American Women. (S)

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore women’s health and pregnancy outcomes through the lenses of both science and social analysis. In addition to reading and discussion on influences on pregnancy outcomes, students will examine results of surveys of Amish women in Lancaster County, African American and Hispanic women in Lancaster City and women of child-bearing age in central Pa. This course is supported by funds from the PA Dept. of Health. Prerequisite: any course that includes methods of data analysis or permission. Same as PUB/GOV/WGS 388.                                                                                                       Everett

390. Topics in Science, Technology and Society.

Study of a topic or topics in the relationship between science, technology and society. Topics vary by semester and are offered by the faculty of several academic departments. May be taken more than once if the topic changes. A recent topic has been Social History of Tuberculosis.                                                                                                                       Staff

489. History and Philosophy of Psychology. (N)

The historical origins of contemporary psychology in European philosophy, physiology and biology and subsequent development of the schools of structuralism, functionalism, Gestalt behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Emphasis on identifying the goals, implicit assumptions and potential contributions of scientific psychology. Prerequisite: Senior psychology major status or permission of instructor. Same as PSY/SPM 489.                                                                                                                  Owens