History and Philosophy of Science

HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (HONOURS)

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) (History and Philosophy of Science) requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 18 credit points of 4000-level Honours coursework selective units from List 1, and
(ii) 6 credit points of 4000-level Honours coursework selective units from List 1 or List 2, and
(iii) 24 credit points of 4000-level Honours research project units

Honours Coursework Selective

List 1
HPSC4101 Philosophy of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Dean Rickles Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: 12 credit points of HPSC3XXX or PHIL3XXX or HSTY3XXX Assessment: 5000 wd essay (50%) Seminar presentation (50%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In this course we explore a range of issues from within the philosophy of physics. We focus on the interpretation of the theories physics provides, examining how these theories might describe our world. The course will assume some basic mathematical literacy, but most technical matters will be introduced in class.
Textbooks
Weekly readings
HPSC4102 History of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Taught by HPS staff and guest lecturers. Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week. Prerequisites: 12 credit points of HPSC3XXX or PHIL3XXX or HSTY3XXX Assessment: 10xquestions (50%) and 1x5000 wd essay (50%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit explores major episodes in the history of science from the 18th century until the present as well as introducing students to historiographic methods. Special attention is paid to developing practical skills in the history and philosophy of science.
Textbooks
Weekly Readings
HPSC4103 Sociology of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniela Helbig Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: 12 credit points of HPSC3XXX or PHIL3XXX or HSTY3XXX Assessment: 5000wd essay (50%) Seminar presentation (50%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This seminar discusses a range of approaches to the social theory of modern science. We will read key texts on questions such as: what makes science part of Western modernity? What is the role of science in the social transformations of the industrial era? In what sense, if at all, can science be said to offer privileged access to reality? What is the relationship between scientific knowledge and social reality?
Textbooks
Weekly Readings
HPSC4104 Recent Topics in HPS

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS Staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: 12 credit points of HPSC3XXX or PHIL3XXX or HSTY3XXX Assessment: 5000wd essay (50%) Seminar presentation (50%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
An examination of one area of the contemporary literature in the history and philosophy of science. Special attention will be paid to development of research skills in the history and philosophy of science.
HPSC4105 HPS Research Methods

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Hans Pols Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: 12 credit points of HPSC3XXX or PHIL3XXX or HSTY3XXX Assessment: 5 x 1000 wd essays (100%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Adopting a seminar style, this unit provides students with an advanced knowledge of the skills necessary to conduct their own original research in the sociology, history and philosophy of science. Participants will be given a weekly set of core readings, and specialists both from within the Unit and from outside will present their views on the topic in question. This presentation will form the basis for a discussion involving the students, the academic members of the Unit, and invited speakers. Topics will include: the use of case studies in the philosophy of science, how to conduct oral history projects, institutional history, and sociological methodology.
HPSC4108 Core topics: History and Philosophy of Sci

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week. Prerequisites: 12 credit points of HPSC3XXX or PHIL3XXX or HSTY3XXX Assessment: 10xquestions (50%) and 1x5000 wd essay (50%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
An intensive reading course, supported by discussion seminars, into core topics in HPS.
List 2
SCIE4001 Science Communication

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Alice E Motion Session: Semester 1 Classes: lecture 2-3 hrs/week, workshops 1-2hrs/week Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study and including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A. Assumed knowledge: Completion of a major in a science discipline. Basic knowledge of other sciences is beneficial. Experience in communication such as delivering oral presentations and producing written reports. An awareness of science in a societal context, e.g., of disciplinary applications. Assessment: seminar/workshop attendance and completion of 'course notebook' (10%; individual), written article communicating science topic to specific audience (25%; individual), illustrating science (sound/figure/animation/diagram etc; 15%), 3 minute presentation of science topic to specific audience (25%; individual), group report (25%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Mid-year honours students would take this unit of study in S1 (their second semester of study).
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". This quote is widely attributed to Albert Einstein, but regardless of its provenance, it suggests that one measure of an expert's knowledge can be found in their ability to translate complex ideas so that they are accessible to anyone. The communication of science to the public is essential for science and society. In order to increase public understanding and appreciation of science, researchers must be able to explain their results, and the wider context of their research, to non-experts. This unit will explore some theoretical foundations of science communications, identify outstanding practitioners and empower students to produce effective science communication in different media. In this unit you will learn the necessary skills and techniques to tell engaging and informative science stories in order to bring complex ideas to life, for non-expert audiences. By undertaking this unit you will develop a greater understanding of the wider context of your honours unit, advance your communication skills and be able to explain your honours research to non-expert audiences such as friends, family or future employers. These transferable skills will equip you for future research - where emphasis is increasingly placed on public communication and/or outreach - or professional pathways - where effective communication of complex ideas is highly valued.
SCIE4002 Experimental Design and Data Analysis

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive March Classes: 4 x 1 hr lectures/week, for six weeks, either online or face-to-face and 1 x 2 hour workshop/week for six weeks Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study and including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A. Prohibitions: ENVX3002 or STAT3X22 or STAT4022 or STAT3X12 Assumed knowledge: Completion of units in quantitative research methods, mathematics or statistical analysis at least at 1000-level. Assessment: design critique (20%), research plan (30%), analysis critique (20%), 2 x analysis quizzes (15% each) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Block mode
An indispensable attribute of an effective scientific researcher is the ability to collect, analyse and interpret data. Central to this process is the ability to create hypotheses and test these by using rigorous experimental designs. This modular unit of study will introduce the key concepts of experimental design and data analysis. Specifically, you will learn to formulate experimental aims to test a specific hypothesis. You will develop the skills and understanding required to design a rigorous scientific experiment, including an understanding of concepts such as controls, replicates, sample size, dependent and independent variables and good research practice (e. g. blinding, randomisation). By completing this unit you will develop the knowledge and skills required to appropriately analyse and interpret data in order to draw conclusions in the context of an advanced research project. From this unit of study, you will emerge with a comprehensive understanding of how to optimise the design and analysis of an experiment to most effectively answer scientific questions.
SCIE4003 Ethics in Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Hans Pols Session: Intensive August,Intensive March Classes: part a: lecture/seminars 4hr/week for 3 weeks, in which all students participate, followed by two modules, part b (human ethics) and part c (animal ethics), from which students select one; each module comprises 8 hours of workshops over 1-2 weeks Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study and including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A Prohibitions: HSBH3004 or HPSC3107 Assumed knowledge: Successful completion of a Science major. Assessment: essay (40%), presentation (20%), final exam (40%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Block mode
In the contemporary world, a wide variety of ethical concerns impinge upon the practice of scientific research. In this unit you will learn how to identify potential ethical issues within science, acquire the tools necessary to analyse them, and develop the ability to articulate ethically sound insights about how to resolve them. In the first portion of the unit, you will be familiarised with how significant developments in post-World War II science motivated sustained ethical debate among scientists and in society. In the second portion of the unit, you will select from either a Human Ethics module or an Animal Ethics module and learn the requirements of how to ensure your research complies with appropriate national legislation and codes of conduct. By undertaking this unit you will develop the ability to conduct scientific research in an ethically justifiable way, place scientific developments and their application in a broader social context, and analyse the social implications and ethical issues that may potentially arise in the course of developing scientific knowledge.

Honours Core Research Project

HPSC4201 HPS Honours Research Project A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly individual supervision, fortnightly 90-minute research seminars. Assumed knowledge: (HPSC2100 or HPSC2900) and (HPSC2101 or HPSC2901) Assessment: HPSC4201, HPSC4202, HPSC4203 and HPSC4204 are jointly assessed by a research thesis of up to 15,000 words. Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Research into a topic in history, philosophy or sociology of science under the supervision of one or more members of the HPS staff.
HPSC4202 HPS Honours Research Project B

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly individual supervision, fortnightly 90-minute research seminars. Corequisites: HPSC4201 Assumed knowledge: (HPSC2100 or HPSC2900) and (HPSC2101 or HPSC2901) Assessment: HPSC4201, HPSC4202, HPSC4203 and HPSC4204 are jointly assessed by a research thesis of up to 15,000 words. Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Research into a topic in history, philosophy or sociology of science under the supervision of one or more members of the HPS staff.
HPSC4203 HPS Honours Research Project C

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly individual supervision, fortnightly 90-minute research seminars. Corequisites: HPSC4202 Assumed knowledge: (HPSC2100 or HPSC2900) and (HPSC2101 or HPSC2901) Assessment: HPSC4201, HPSC4202, HPSC4203 and HPSC4204 are jointly assessed by a research thesis of up to 15,000 words. Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Research into a topic in history, philosophy or sociology of science under the supervision of one or more members of the HPS staff.
HPSC4204 HPS Honours Research Project D

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly individual supervision, fortnightly 90-minute research seminars. Corequisites: HPSC4203 Assumed knowledge: (HPSC2100 or HPSC2900) and (HPSC2101 or HPSC2901) Assessment: HPSC4201, HPSC4202, HPSC4203 and HPSC4204 are jointly assessed by a research thesis of up to 15,000 words. Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Research into a topic in history, philosophy or sociology of science under the supervision of one or more members of the HPS staff.