Dec 05, 2023  
2024 January Term Course Catalog 
2024 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 401 - History of Science: London and Paris

Type: Travel


On campus: January 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9 (W, TH, F, M, TU), 2024

Time: 9:15AM - 11:50AM


London - January 11 - January 20, 2024

Paris - January 20 - January 27, 2024


Instructor: Valerie Burke



Course Fees: $3900 *All expenses included: airfare, lodging, transportation, food, excursions, etc. The only remaining expenses will be souvenirs and food in airports. Travel shot costs will depend on individual insurance coverage.


Course Description: We have grown up with models of the solar system, but what was it like to make the discovery that the sun does not orbit the earth? We have seen dinosaurs in museums, books, and movies, but what did it mean to discover the first dinosaur bones?

We will explore the history of Western science from Copernicus through the 20th century, and visit sites in London and Paris that were central to scientific discoveries and developments in astronomy, chemistry, physics, geology, biology, and more. We will examine some cultural and religious factors that facilitated or hindered scientific development. And we will consider the impact of various scientific discoveries within the framework of knowledge at the time of discovery.  

On campus, we will engage in reading and discussion. Readings give an account of the history of science for a lay audience, while the class periods will emphasize the relevant scientific concepts. In London and Paris, we will visit the home of Charles Darwin; explore the labs of Marie Curie and Louis Pasteur; see equipment used by Lavoisier, Faraday, Boyle; and visit the final resting places of Newton, Rutherford, Herschel, and Hawking; and stand on the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Prerequisites & Notes

  • Seminar 1
  • English 5
  • College science course with lab, or strong high school science preparation, or permission of instructor


Information Sessions:

 Date  Time  Location
Wednesday, September 6th 6:00 PM Galileo 202
Monday, September 11th 2:00 PM Dante 215
Tuesday, September 12th 7:00 PM Zoom
Friday, September 15th 3:30 PM Dante 220


 *Failure to attend Health & Safety Orientations will result in immediate drop from the course, and once registered all course fees are non-refundable. 

Credits: 3

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