Trends in the History of Science

Science has played a pivitol role in the course of human history, but what areas of science do new historians find most interesting? More than 70 percent of scholars earning recent Ph.D.s in the history of science have a strong interest in 19th-20th century science, according to a new report by the History of Science Society on doctoral dissertations. Ten percent of recent dissertations in the field focus on ancient science, 15 percent focus on early modern science, and the rest cover philosophical topics that span multiple time periods.

Of dissertations covering the 19th and 20th centuries, the top three areas of research are now:

  1. history of medicine
  2. science in popular culture
  3. history of the physical sciences (such as physics and chemistry)

This marks a major shift since 1980, when the history of physical science topped the chart, and few Ph.D. students focused on the history of medicine or science in popular culture. Areas of steady interest over the years include history of biology, history of technology, and science in public policy.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Mon, 08/15/2005 - 1:53pm
Mr. Anonymous Woman's picture
Mr. Anonymous Woman says:

I believe that human thought only believes a certain amount of scientifical fact. They rely on what is not always certain, and they run their lives in this mannor. The average human mind cannot believe most scientifical fact i believe. This is true because it is based on religious beliefs. And religious beliefs are just another way of saying that we'll be able to live longer (in many circumstances that is.) So if we we're not afraid of death, then why have religion? (This is not ALWAYS the religious belief) Thats why makes people scared and want to match religion and science with philosophy. Its the EASIER thing to do. Why not forget about the facts?

posted on Mon, 08/15/2005 - 4:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Science doesnt have anything to do with believing but with understanding those facts. Most people all over the world just dont have the knowledge the advanced cultures share and therefor look for reasons not in science but in the supernatural. Religion also presents a perfect scapegoat when it comes to human failure or things we have not yet learned to explain. best example therefor: it is easier to say 'it was god's will' then to investigate further

posted on Tue, 08/16/2005 - 2:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It seems to me that religious conservatives are partially responsible for the dumbing down of science in this country. Their demands that intelligent design replace evolution or be taught along with evolution is just the tip of the iceberg in their attempt to hijack science. If they had their way, we would probably still be burning witches at the stake.

posted on Sun, 09/02/2007 - 3:25pm

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