STS@BIU

Science, Technology & Society at Bar-Ilan University

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Rebels, Mavericks and Heretics in Biology (27877) | Prof. Oren Harman

 Thos course deals with iconoclastic, or contra-paradigmatic science. It’s canvass is the biological sciences of the past century. Widely held axioms that were challenged will be examined, including: Life can be reduced to physics and chemistry; Evolution is a genetic phenomena; Man originated in Asia: The gene is discrete; Evolution is gradual; The hereditary substance is protein; Altruism can be explained by group selection; Bacteria are one indivisible kingdom; The gender of the researcher does not influence problem choice. In each case we shall study the historical challenge - some of which proved successful while other crashed and burned – in an attempt to understand the dynamic and determinants of scientific change. What is the importance of rebellion in science? Can we create a taxonomy of dissent? What can rebels teach us about how scientific theories are made, persist, and abandoned?