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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


 Part III students' guide

 MPhil students' guide

Part III Manager: Richard Staley

MPhil Managers: Anna Alexandrova, Charu Singh


Part III and MPhil Lectures and Seminars

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 HPS Seminar Room 2.

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 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 (11 October)

Hasok Chang: Realism, relativism and pluralism

Week 2 (18 October)

Tom McClelland: Perceiving affordances for action

Week 3 (25 October)

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

Week 4 (1 November)

Josh Nall: Instruments and empires

Week 5 (8 November)

Philippa Carter: Diagnosing the dead

Week 6 (15 November)

Charu Singh: Scientific periodicals in global perspective

Week 7 (22 November)

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

Week 8 (29 November)

Anna Alexandrova: Evidence-based policy and its discontents


Lent Term

Week 1 (24 January)

Mary Brazelton: Histories of global health

Week 2 (31 January)

Matt Farr: Does time have a direction?

Week 3 (7 February)

Dmitriy Myelnikov: Animal experiments

Week 4 (14 February)

Richard Staley: Defining climatic periods and making climate history

Week 5 (21 February)

Marta Halina: Animal minds

  • Halina, Marta, Animal Minds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

Week 6 (28 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 7 (6 March)

Anna Alexandrova: How to think about the dissertation – philosophy

Week 8 (13 March)

Charu Singh and Richard Staley: How to think about the dissertation – history