19195 - History of Science A

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will be introduced the the main topics concerning the history of science

Course contents

The course provides an introduction to the history of science and technology and aims at reconstructing the main material, intellectual and institutional factors of the development of science since Renaissance Europe. The history of scientific instruments, of the naturalistic collections, of science museums, of the relations between arts and sciences, and of the development of technologies, will be the main themes of the introductory part. In the second part of the course will be devoted to a classic ofscience (Descartes, Discourse on method).  BEGINNING OF THE COURSE SEPTEMBER 20, 2021. Days monday 13-15 (aula III), tuesday 13-15 (aula V), wednsday 13-15 (aula III)


Students with no knowledge of the Italian language may contact me and alternative texts will be provided. All the other students

Marco Beretta, Storia materiale della scienza. Dal libro ai laboratori, (seconda edizione riveduta e corretta) Roma: Carocci, 2017; Marta Cavazza, Laura Bassi. Donne, genere e scienza nell’Italia del Settecento, Milano: Editrice Bibliografica, 2020 (only the following pp.  97-130 and 187-255). Descartes, Discorso sul metodo, Bari: Laterza 2002 (English and French editions are fine).

For those non attending the course the following book should be added: Francesco Barreca, La scienza che fu. Idee e strumenti di teorie abbandonate, Milano: Editrice Bibliografica, 2017.

Teaching methods

Presentation of the main texts with power point slides. Before the end of the class, student will be invited to participate with questions.

Teaching tools

The exam consists in an oral interview during which the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student will be evaluated . The student will be invited to discuss the texts covered during the course and to contextualise them in their historical epoch. The achievement of a systematic knowlege of the issues addressed during the classes and a critical approach to the sources combined with precision of language will be assessed with marks of excellence (28-30). Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of the texts combined with scholastic exposé will be assessed by good marking (23-27); training gaps and superficial contextualization and knoledge of the texts will be assessed with sufficient markings (18-22). Lacks of any of the above requirements will lead to a negative marking.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Beretta