History of science and technology

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-STO/05
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
This course aims to provide the student with the general lines of the historical development of scientific thought with a particular focus on the context (historical, political, religious and cultural) in which it took shape and spread.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will gain a basic knowledge of the main issues related to the relationship between science and society, as well as an understanding of the appropriate lexicon of the discipline. The course will also provide critical tools for reading, interpreting and independently commenting on scientific texts from the past, whilst putting them in their historical context. These skills will be acquired through a direct and ongoing meeting with the instructor in the classroom. The discussion around the proposed sources will be a time of critical reflection and methodological learning.
Students who opt to attend or not attend will be able to avail themselves of the educational tools made available by the instructor on Ariel, deepen the main topics through special readings recommended by the instructor, and of course contact the instructor both by email and during the reception hours.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the next few months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
"At the bottom of an ocean of air": horror vacui and the weight of air from Aristotle to the first scientific academies

Part 1: Aristotle and Aristotelianism: Horror vacui, natural philosophy and the university context
Part 2: "We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air". Galileo, Torricelli and the problem of the vacuum and of the air pressure
Part 3: Vacuum and air pressure at the Accademia del Cimento. Natural philosophy and the new academic contexts
Prerequisites for admission
There are no specific requirements different from those requested for the degree admission
Teaching methods
Attendance to classes is strongly recommended although not compulsory. The teaching is delivered through frontal lectures aimed primarily at the acquisition of knowledge, competence and specific language of the subject. Discussion with the teacher in the classroom is integrant part of the didactic method and aims at promoting a critical attitude and the capacity to apply the acquired competence and knowledge.
The teaching is also based on didactic and multimedia material provided on Ariel.
In addition to frontal lectures, team works and/or individual presentations are envisaged
Teaching Resources
Attending students:
- Programme for 6 cfu:

Knowledge of the topics taught in lectures (parts 1 and 2)

Textbook:
E. Grant, Le origini medievali della scienza moderna, Einaudi, Torino 2001. (also available in English: The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages (1996))

Primary sources:
(1) Aristotele, Fisica, IV, chap. 6-8 (any edition).
(2) Galileo, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638), selezione di brani dalla giornata prima (Any edition. Available in open access: https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Discorsi_e_dimostrazioni_matematiche_int…), selected pieces available on the course's Ariel website.
(3) Torricelli, Lezioni accademiche (lezione 5 and 6) (any edition), available on the course's Ariel website.

- Programme for 9 cfu:

Knowledge of the topics taught in lectures (parts 1, 2 and 3)

Textbook:
E. Grant, Le origini medievali della scienza moderna, Einaudi, Torino 2001. (also available in English: The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages (1996))

Primary sources:
(1) Aristotele, Fisica, IV, chap. 6-8 (any edition).
(2) Galileo, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638), selezione di brani dalla giornata prima (Any edition. Available in open access: https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Discorsi_e_dimostrazioni_matematiche_int…), selected pieces available on the course's ariel website.
(3) Torricelli, Lezioni accademiche (lezione 5 and 6) (any edition), available on the course's Ariel website.
4) (C.R. Dati), Lettera ai Filaleti Di Timauro Antiate. Della vera storia della Cicloide e della famosissima esperienza dell'argento vivo, Firenze, 1663 (available in open access: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8626202g/f9.item). Available on the course's Ariel website.
(5) L. Magalotti, Saggi di naturali esperienze, Firenze 1667 (qualunque edizione, disponibile in open access: https://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/cimentosite/indice.asp?xmlFile=Indice00…), selected pieces available on the course's Ariel website.


Non-attending students:

- Programme for 6 cfu:

Textbook:
E. Grant, Le origini medievali della scienza moderna, Einaudi, Torino 2001. (also available in English: The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages (1996))

A. Clericuzio, La macchina del mondo. Teorie e pratiche scientifiche dal Rinascimento a Newton, Roma, Carocci, 2012, chap. 5



Primary sources:
(1) Aristotele, Fisica, IV, chap. 6-8 (any edition).
(2) Galileo, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638), selected pieces from "giornata prima" (Any edition. Available in open access: https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Discorsi_e_dimostrazioni_matematiche_int…), selected pieces available on the course's Ariel website.
(3) Torricelli, Lezioni accademiche (lezione 5 and 6) (any edition), available on the course's Ariel website.


- Programme for 9 cfu:

Textbook:
E. Grant, Le origini medievali della scienza moderna, Einaudi, Torino 2001. (also available in English: The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages (1996))

A. Clericuzio, La macchina del mondo. Teorie e pratiche scientifiche dal Rinascimento a Newton, Roma, Carocci, 2012, chap. 1 and 5



Primary sources:
(1) Aristotele, Fisica, IV, chap. 6-8 (any edition).
(2) Galileo, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638), selected pieces from "giornata prima" (Any edition. Available in open access: https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Discorsi_e_dimostrazioni_matematiche_int…), selected pieces available on the course's Ariel website.
(3) Torricelli, Lezioni accademiche (lezione 5 and 6) (any edition), available on the course's Ariel website.
4) (C.R. Dati), Lettera ai Filaleti Di Timauro Antiate. Della vera storia della Cicloide e della famosissima esperienza dell'argento vivo, Firenze, 1663 (available in open access: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8626202g/f9.item). Available on the course's Ariel website.
(5) L. Magalotti, Saggi di naturali esperienze, Firenze 1667 (qualunque edizione, disponibile in open access: https://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/cimentosite/indice.asp?xmlFile=Indice00…), selected pieces available on the course's Ariel website.


International and Erasmus students are invited to promptly get in touch with the professor in order to arrange a reading plan (available in English) for exam preparation.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Method: oral exam
- Type of examination: oral interrogation;
- Evaluation criteria: knowledge of the main methodologies and contents of the course; capacity to demonstrate and elaborate knowledge; capacity for critical reading of the texts in program; quality of exposition, competence in the use of specialised lexicon;
- Type of evaluation method: mark in 30s;

The format of the exam for students with disabilities should be arranged in advance with the professor, as well as the relevant office.
Unita' didattica A
M-STO/05 - HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-STO/05 - HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-STO/05 - HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours