Course Summary

The Story of Science 2 - The Science Disciplines

Unit 1 - The Emergence Of The Science Disciplines

The science disciplines developed from what was originally one field of study known as natural philosophy. This unit is about changes in attitude towards the study of natural phenomena, factors influencing the development of new science ideas, and the promotion of a scientific method. It then describes the emergence of geology and chemistry as separate disciplines.

Unit 2 - The Emergence Of Biology

Here we trace the emergence of biology as a separate field of study, over the period from the mid-1600s to around 1800. It describes early developments of knowledge of living things, the development of botany - the study of plants, the study of anatomy, the development of the microscope, and ideas about the origin of life.

Unit 3 - Developments In Natural Philosophy

This unit is about developments in natural philosophy up to about 1800, including the discoveries of Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton, progress in astronomy and navigation, developments in mathematics, and discoveries in electricity and magnetism.

Unit 4 - Background To The Social Sciences

In this unit, developments in science up to around 1800 are rounded off. The unit describes the influence of the Enlightenment in the 1600s and 1700s, early developments in the social sciences, the contribution made by the Edinburgh philosophers, and the position of the sciences around 1800.

Unit 5 - The Earth Sciences Since 1800

Here we start the story of developments in science since 1800, beginning with the earth sciences. The unit describes developments in palaentology and stratigraphy, mineralogy, plate tectonics and geophysics.

Unit 6 - The Hydrologic And Atmospheric Sciences

Here we continue the account of the earth sciences since 1800, concentrating on the hydrologic and atmospheric sciences and the effects of climate change and natural disasters.

Unit 7 - The Biological Sciences Since 1800

In this unit we start the description of the many developments in biology that have taken place since 1800, looking at discoveries in systematics and taxonomy, oceanography, comparative anatomy, cell theory, and evolution and genetics.

Unit 8 - Cell Division, Dna And Micro-organisms

Here we continue biology since 1800 with an account of the process of fertilisation in both plants and animals, embryology and the role of stem cells in the growth of new tissues, the role of DNA in inheritance, attempts to determine how life first started and then evolved, the range of microscopic organisms and some unusual examples, micro-organisms and disease.

Unit 9 - Environmental Biology And Agriculture

The course finishes with a description of the operation of the electron microscope followed by a description of developments in environmental biology and agriculture, with its many applications in food production.