Celebrity Science: Geniuses & Heretics
UNIV 241, 3 credits
Winter 2012 Sections 001, 002, 003
Thursday 6:30 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.
Instructors: Dr. Jonathan Seitz, Dr. Lloyd Ackert, Dr. Lydia Pyne
New methods of scientific biography offer us novel approaches for interpreting and understanding the interrelationship of personality, society, culture, as they inform the process of intellectual creativity. We will examine the lives of four scientists, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), Albert Einstein (1879-1955), and Lynn Margulis (1938-2011). Although they worked in different sciences, and experienced such different lives personally and such varied historical contexts, they all developed radically new and influential ideas about science. Through a reading of their scientific publications, personal writings, and the works of historians, philosophers and present day scientists we investigate the creative process that each scientist used in developing their novel ideas.