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Why was Haber’s work important for Germany?

READ: Stevenson and Byerly, Many Faces of Science, chap. 7, pp. 113-142; Ede and Cormack, History of Science in Society, chap. 7-9, pp. 203-293.

WRITE a reaction paper at least 4 pages (double spaced, regular margins, at least 1,000 words; please feel free to write more – this can help your grade ) in length about these chapters.
Some questions you may wish to consider include the following.
Please note that you do not need to answer every question, but you should respond to both books.

For Many Faces of Science:

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CHAPTER 7

This chapter looks at useful applications of science, focusing mainly on medical applications. How is medicine different than the physical sciences (the model for much of our thinking about modern science)?

What did Vesalius do? How can we connect Vesalius’s ideas with the changes that were happening in science at this time? Think back to the earlier chapters and how thinkers looked at the past and the idea of progress.

What did Harvey do? How do you think his work connects with the rise of “mechanical philosophy”? (This is not discussed here in your textbook, but think about what Newton was doing at this time, as well as the ideas of Descartes).

Who was Pasteur? What is the controversy about his work? Do you think he should have used his vaccine even though he was not sure it would work? Should Pasteur have written an exact account of his procedures or what he thought would be best to convince people of the truth of his theories?

What was the controversy between Salk and Sabin? What did they do? What are the different types of vaccines? Do you see any similarities with the current controversy about vaccines and autism?

Why was the cause of AIDS so difficult to determine? What was the controversy between Gallo and the French researchers? Why did Duesberg dispute Gallo’s main conclusion? How does this connect with what we have learned about the nature of science? What connection can we see between AIDS and earlier epidemics? How has the development of treatments for AIDS (as well as basic information about it) been influenced by factors outside of science?

What was the connection between technology and theory in the steam engine?

How does George Washington Carver fit into the discussion in this chapter?

Why was Haber’s work important for Germany? Do you think Haber was right to devote his efforts to helping his country? Would it make a difference if Haber was an American?

For History of Science in Society:

Chapter 7

How does the textbook describe the transformation of natural history to modern biology?

What did scientists believe were the causes of geological change in the 19th century? How did these differ from earlier views?

Who was Lyell and how did his views differ from Cuvier?

What was Lamarck’s evolutionary theory? Does it make sense to you?

How did Darwin’s evolutionary ideas differ from Lamarck? What was distinctive about Darwin’s system?

What was Social Darwinism?

What types of opposition were there to Darwin’s evolutionary ideas? Which seemed to be more influential in the 19th c.?

Who was Louis Pasteur and what did he do?

Why was it important to find a system of chemical classification? How did the Periodic Table develop?

What did Kekule do to clarify organic chemistry?

What did Perkin do, and what does the text call the larger and more important result of his discovery?

Chapter 8

How are electricity and magnetism related? How did Faraday explain this? What did Maxwell do?

Why was important Avogadro’s hypothesis important?

What was caloric?

What is entropy? How is it related to the kinetic theory of gases?

Why would Mach refuse to believe that atoms are real? Was he just stupid?

What did Rontgen discover? Why was it important?

Is light a particle or a wave? How did scientists try to figure this out?

What did Becquerel and the Curies do? What role does chance play in science? How did the understanding of radioactivity aid in the understanding of matter?

How did scientists figure out the structure of the atom? What was the contribution of Niels Bohr? How does the concept of quanta fit into all of this and what was it?

Chapter 9

What was the ether? What was the Michelson-Morley experiment and what was it designed to do?

What was the main idea of Einstein’s theory of relativity? [Note: this is difficult] Why was this so revolutionary?

Why were many biologists unsure of Darwin’s ideas about evolution as late as the early 20th c.? What did Darwin’s idea of evolution by natural selection lack?

What was the Scopes “monkey trial”?

What did Gregor Mendel do? Why was his work important? What happened in 1900?

How did scientists assist the war effort during World War I?

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