73089 - History of Science (2) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will be familiar texts and topics related to the history of science

Course contents

: Historical analysis of Science & Technology and ideas in World War I

The Great War was a period of great advances in scientific knowledge. In addition to medicine and surgery, the physical sciences, chemistry, and mathematics were revolutionized at the beginning of the 20th century. The large number of famous scientists at this time is indicative of the progress made in the 19th century and in the First World War. From the very beginning of the war, academics and scientists were mobilized by the various governments of the belligerent countries and many of them participated actively in the conflict

Main topics:

Scienza e guerra: una storia che viene da lontano

La scienza in Italia tra Otto e Novecento: verso il 1914 La scienza in Italia tra Otto e Novecento: verso il 1914

La guerra vera e quella delle parole: manifesti e contromanifesti Gli scienziati italiani si schierano: interventisti, pacifisti e neutrali.

Industria e tecnologia in tempo di guerra

La guerra dei matematici: balistica e tavole di tiro

La guerra dei chimici: gas asfissianti, maschere antigas, materiali esplodenti

La guerra dei fisici: radiotelegrafia, crittografia, fonotelemetria

La trincea come laboratorio medico: il caso della psichiatria

Tra guerra e pace: la fine del cosmopolitismo scientifico Tra guerra e pace: come cambia la politica della ricerca. Il ruolo di Vito Volterra Dall'Ufficio invenzioni al Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche

I dibattiti sulla guerra: Eugenio Rignano e l’Inchiesta di “Scientia” sulle grandi questioni internazionali dell'ora presente (1915-1925);

Perché la guerra? carteggio fra S. Freud e A. Einstein


Reception: During the period of the lessons the teacher receives, by appointment to be fixed by writing to the address sandra.linguerri@unibo.it, on Wednesday from 16 to 17 at Via Zamboni 38, IV floor 

In other periods by appointment by writing to sandra.linguerri@unibo.it, Monday from 10 to 11, Via Zamboni 38, IV Floor.

Period: I semester

Schedules, classrooms, start date of lessons: The course follows the educational calendar of the School of Arts and Cultural Heritage. Beginning of the course, schedules and classrooms will be published by the Educational Office of the School

It is strongly recommended that you look assiduously at the notices that the teacher puts on his site to report any changes to the calendar.


The following textbooks are indicated as reference study material, that is, they constitute the teaching material.


A.Guerraggio, La scienza in trincea. Gli scienziati italiani nella prima guerra mondiale, Raffaello Cortina editore, 2015.

M. Focaccia, Bartolo Nigrisoli: tra clinica e chirurgia di guerra : una biografia scientifica, Pendragon, Bologna, 2011

S. Linguerri, Eugenio Rignano e l’Inchiesta di “Scientia” sulle grandi questioni internazionali dell'ora presente (1915-1925): una “grande festa della pace”, in La Grande Guerra (1914-1919). La scienza, le idee, gli uomini. Atti del Convegno Bologna maggio 2016, Roma, 2017

S. Linguerri, La ricerca dalla guerra alla pace, in: Società italiana degli storici della fisica e dell'astronomia. Atti del XXXV Convegno annuale (Arezzo, 16-19 settembre 2015), Pavia, Pavia University Press, 2016, pp. 83 - 97 (atti di: XXXV Convegno della Società italiana degli storici della fisica e dell'astronomia, Arezzo, 16-19 settembre 2015)

V.P. Babini, Liberi tutti. Manicomi e psichiatri in Italia: una storia del Novecento, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2009, pp. 49-58 (1915-1918: la trincea come laboratorio)

S. Freud, Perché la guerra? carteggio fra S. Freud e A. Einstein, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2010

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons.

Active participation is encouraged, including asking questions and discussing issues to be expanded on. Lectures will alternate with seminars; students will have the opportunity to attend conferences given by experts, to watch videos and explore websites, and to visit museums and/or libraries. At the end of each lesson, 15 minutes will be dedicated to questions, requests for clarification, etc.

Attending students will be required to write a short dissertation on a topic assigned by the lecturer and which will be discussed during lectures, and will count towards (maximum 3 points) the final grade.

Assessment methods

Oral exam of the duration of 30-40 minutes approximately.

The oral examination aims to evaluate the critical and methodological abilites developed by the student.

The exam will be structured in 2 parts: 1) Some brief notional questions, to check the careful reading and the knowledge of the exam texts; 2) Two / three open questions of more general-interpretative cutting.

The assignment will be marked on the basis of the student’s ability to gather and select the appropriate information to be able to effectively illustrate and link topics and issues

Specifically :

The achievement of an organic and articulate view, the detailed knowledge of the sources, the ability to critically analyze the arguments put forward and the appropriate use of language will result in excellent marks (28-30L). A correct knowledge of the sources, but no critical analysis, and an appropriate use of the language, but at times imprecise, will result in a good mark (25-27). Mnemonic learning of the subject, ability to synthesize but inability to critically elaborate on the topic, appropriate use of language but no use of specific language will result in a fair mark (22-24). Minimal knowledge of the course and/or inappropriate use of language will result in low marks (18-21). Severe lack of knowledge, severely inappropriate use of language and lack of critical thinking and organization skills will result in a fail.

The use of textbooks, notes or any electronic device is not allowed during the examination.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint (they constitute an aid to the lesson and not educational material and therefore will not be distributed. The teaching material is the one indicated under the heading Texts / Bibliography and the one made available on the digital platform), DVD and scientific documentaries, website.

Office hours

See the website of Sandra Linguerri