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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Part III students' guide

MPhil students' guide

Part III Manager: Richard Staley (Michaelmas & Lent Terms) Stephen John (Easter Term)
MPhil Managers: Anna Alexandrova and Staffan Müller-Wille


Part III and MPhil Lectures and Seminars 2022–23

The HPSM MPhil/HPS Part III Lectures, which are mandatory for all students enrolled on these courses, will be held on Wednesdays from 3.00–4.30pm. In Lent Term they will be held in the Large Lecture Theatre in the Botany Building on the Downing Site.

Students from other courses who wish to attend one of these lectures should obtain permission in advance from the lecturer.

Each lecturer will offer at least one follow-up discussion on their topic, for students who wish to discuss the subject in-depth with a smaller group. This discussion session will typically be held at 10.00–11.30am on Monday or Wednesday in HPS Seminar Room 1. It will be capped at 14 participants; students must sign up for this session in advance on Moodle.

If more than 14 students wish to attend the follow-up discussion, the lecturer will make a second session available when possible.


Michaelmas Term

Week 1 (12 October)

Richard Staley: Defining climatic periods and making climate history

Week 2 (19 October)

Mary Brazelton: Histories of global health

Week 3 (26 October)

Hasok Chang: Realism, relativism and pluralism

Week 4 (2 November)

Anna Alexandrova: Evidence-based policy and its discontents

Week 5 (9 November)

Josh Nall: Instruments and empires

Week 6 (16 November)

Tim Lewens and Stephen John: Is, can or should science be 'value-free'?

    Week 7 (23 November)

    Philippa Carter: Diagnosing the dead

    Week 8 (30 November) – CANCELLED

    Jacob Stegenga: The sciences of sexual desire


      Lent Term

      Week 1 (25 January)

      Staffan Müller-Wille: Race and history

        Week 2 (1 February)

        Matt Farr: Does time have a direction?

          Week 3 (8 February)

          Salim Al-Gailani: COVID-19 and the history of medicine

            Week 4 (15 February)

            Tom McClelland: Perceiving affordances for action

            Week 5 (22 February)

            Dániel Margócsy: Visual studies of science

            • Beaulieu, Anne, 'Images Are Not the (Only) Truth: Brain Mapping, Visual Knowledge, and Iconoclasm', Science, Technology & Human Values 27:1 (2002), 53–86
            • Daston, Lorraine, 'Epistemic Images', in Alina Payne (ed.), Vision and Its Instruments. Art, Science, and Technology in Early Modern Europe (University Park, PA: PSU Press, 2015), pp. 13–35
            • Latour, Bruno, 'Drawing Things Together', in Michael Lynch and Steve Woolgar (eds), Representation in Scientific Practice (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990), 19–68

            Week 6 (1 March)

            Charu Singh: Scientific periodicals in global perspective

            Week 7 (8 March)

            Anna Alexandrova: How to think about the dissertation – philosophy

            Week 8 (15 March)

            Staffan Müller-Wille and Richard Staley: How to think about the dissertation – history