Science and Society: 1789 - 1914

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Science and Society: 1789 - 1914

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    18 100-level HIST points or 108 points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    A critical examination of the history of the natural and social sciences in cultural context from the Enlightenment to the First World War.

    This course examines the revolution in the natural sciences spearheaded by Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (1859), among others, during the mid-nineteenth century. We begin by tracing important interconnections between science and empire during the eighteenth century before focusing on the rise of evolutionary theorizing in Britain and Europe during the mid-nineteenth. Taking a contextualist approach to the history of science, we explore some of the political, intellectual, racial, ethical and religious controversies that erupted after 1859 in Britain, Europe and New Zealand.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will:
    -Gain a historical understanding of the origins, course and consequences of the rise of evolutionary theory during the 19th century
    -Learn to engage critically with the secondary literature in the 'Darwin industry'
    -Learn to assess sometimes conflicting interpretations from interdisciplinary perspectives

    Recommended: Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, any edition.

    In addition, course materials will be made available electronically.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.