Available in 2022
Course code



20 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining contemporary understandings and practices in the sciences by exploring the histories, philosophical underpinnings and social processes that have shaped them. It will investigate the different ways in which the sciences have been described and practiced during key periods in human history with reference to the prevailing social, cultural, and technological contexts of the time. It will explore the interplay between these contexts, the conceptions of knowledge and the nature of reality, and the dominant scientific practices of these key historical moments.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify the historical, philosophical and social contexts that have informed the emergence of modern science and its methods.

2. Evaluate the interrelationship between technological breakthroughs and scientific discovery.

3. Outline and critique the social, cultural and technological conditions which encourage or inhibit science.

4. Identify the prevailing philosophical assumptions embedded in national and local science syllabi.

5. Create course materials about pivotal events in the development of a particular science discipline.


This course will cover the following topics:

  • historical and contemporary science practices in Indigenous, pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial societies
  • the origins of contemporary science research methods
  • the historical connections between science and technology.

Assumed knowledge

Completion of a minimum of 40 units of Science study.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Syllabus Analysis (20%)

Presentation: Presentation (20%)

Proposal / Plan: Lesson Plan (30%)

Essay: Essay (30%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.