I created this site to be the textbook for my course HSCI 3013 “History of Science to the Age of Newton.”  This is a regularly offered course at the University of Oklahoma.  Its official description from the course catalog is: “A survey of Western people’s efforts to understand the natural world, from earliest historical times to the seventeenth century.”  This site contains almost all of the reading material for students in HSCI 3013 (a small number of readings that are copyright protected are available on Canvas, a password-protected University website).  It also contains additional resources and links for those interested in pursuing particular interests in the history of pre-modern science, my blog posts on teaching pre-modern science, as well as student-generated pages and blog posts.


Portrait of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, experimental philosopher and science fiction writer, by Peter Lely (1665). Wikimedia Commons.

I teach in the History of Science Department at the University of Oklahoma.

This website/blog was inspired by my colleague John Stewart’s class blog for HSCI 3023, After Newton.  This course, and Dr. Stewart’s blog, covers the history of science from the 18th to the 21st century.  (You can follow Dr. Stewart on Twitter @jstew511.)  I have also benefited greatly from my colleague Peter Barker’s course links (especially for his HSCI 3013, from which I have borrowed material).  (You can follow Dr. Barker on Twitter @voxcanis.)  Many of the images on this site come from the fabulous digital collection of the History of Science Collections of the University of Oklahoma Libraries.  This digital archive is in the process of being made fully public and open-access. You can follow the History of Science Collections on Twitter @OUHOSCollection.  You can follow the digitization project on Twitter @OULibDigitize.

The course is arranged into three modules: the heavens, the earth and the human body. I almost always teach HSCI 3013 in that order, but in principle the material can be approached in any order. I am constantly adding new material and new references and welcome suggestions and queries.




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