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Part III and MPhil

Part III students' guide

MPhil student's guide

Part III Manager: Helen Curry
MPhil Managers: Stephen John, Richard Staley

Part III and MPhil Lectures 2016–17

The Department's MPhil and Part III students must attend these lectures, which are held on Wednesdays at 3pm. They are not open to anyone else.

The purpose of the lectures is to introduce research topics, methods and approaches adopted by the Department's teaching officers. Normally the lecture will last for 45 minutes with another 45 minutes left for questions and answers, although the precise format may depend on the session. Following (or in some cases preceding) each session the lecturer will canvass interest and announce the schedule for a small group seminar that explores the topics of the corresponding lecture in more depth. All MPhil and Part III students should attend each lecture, but they can choose which subsequent seminars to follow. Each student must follow at least one seminar in Michaelmas and one in Lent.

Lectures and seminars are held in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science unless otherwise indicated.

Michaelmas Term

Week 1 (12 October)
Helen Curry: Nature, knowledge and power

Week 2 (19 October)
Stephen John and Tim Lewens: Is, can or should science be 'value-free'?

Week 3 (26 October)
Simon Schaffer and Richard Staley (with others): Materiality and scientific instruments

Week 4 (2 November)
Richard Staley and Simon Schaffer (with others): Climate science and modelling

  • Reading: Chakrabarty, Dipesh, 'The Climate of History: Four Theses', Critical Inquiry 35 (2009), 197–222
  • See Moodle for description and further readings
  • Note special location: Scott Polar Museum

Week 5 (9 November)
Hasok Chang: The relation between history of science and philosophy of science

  • Reading: Chang, Hasok, 'Beyond Case-Studies: History as Philosophy', in Seymour Mauskopf and Tad Schmaltz (eds), Integrating History and Philosophy of Science (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011), pp. 109–124
  • See Moodle for further readings

Week 6 (16 November)
Anna Alexandrova: Do social sciences need a special treatment?

Week 7 (23 November)
Lauren Kassell: Medical records and the history of medicine

Week 8 (30 November)
Nick Hopwood: Icons of knowledge

Lent Term

Week 1 (25 January)
Jacob Stegenga: Medical nihilism

  • Reading: Stegenga, Jacob, Medical Nihilism, Introduction and §11.4, 11.5, 11.6, and Appendix 1 and 5 (see Moodle for manuscript)

Week 2 (1 February)
Mary Brazelton: Sinicizing the history of science and medicine

Week 3 (8 February)
Jim Secord: Knowledge in transit

Week 4 (15 February)
Liba Taub and Dániel Margócsy: What is a scientific instrument?

Week 5 (22 February)
Marta Halina: Experimental evidence in cognitive science

Week 6 (1 March)
How to start researching your dissertation

Week 7 (8 March)
Writing a dissertation: common problems and solutions

Week 8 (15 March)
Presenting research papers