HSNS 54.1: A Special Issue of Essays: Pedagogy in the History of Science and Medicine

April 22nd, 2024  |  Published in Latest news

HSNS special issue cover

The HSNS February 2024 Issue marks the first for a new “Essays and Reviews” editorial team: Melinda Baldwin and Brigid Vance.

From the Editorial Team:

Henry Cowles and Chitra Ramalingam have left us big shoes to fill, and we want to express our appreciation for everything they have done for both HSNS and us during this editorial transition.

The February 2024 special section focuses on the theme of “Pedagogy in the History of Science.” Like most of our colleagues, the two of us found ourselves navigating a new teaching environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our classes moved online; many students fell ill and needed extra support; faculty and students alike had to find ways to cope with and work through the anxiety, stress, and loneliness of social distancing. In this new environment, we reconsidered learning goals for our students, revised policies on absences and late work, and examined how our field could speak to this moment in history.

That experience led us to solicit essays on pedagogy in the history of science and medicine. Classes at most universities have now resumed in person, but we have heard from many colleagues whose pandemic experiences shifted what and how they teach. The essays in this special section reflect caring, innovative, and rigorous pedagogical approaches that teach not just historical content, but analytical thinking, key academic skills, and new approaches to collaborative and individual work.

The authors of our essays work in a variety of educational contexts, not all of which are university settings. Matthew Shindell and Samantha Thompson of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum share reflections on pedagogy in a museum environment, and Shireen Hamza’s essay recounts her experience teaching at Statesville Prison in Crest Hill, Illinois. Nor are all of the essays about teaching in North America. John DiMoia writes about his experience building a history of computing syllabus for a large course at Seoul National University, and Jongsik Yi shares her work building an innovative syllabus on the history of science in Korea. Many of the essays address efforts to decolonize the way we teach our field, or ways to put the history of science into conversation with other fields. Honghong Tinn’s course on “Ethics and Science and Technology” pushes students to consider case studies of indigenous technology, invisible labor, and exploitation in the East Asian context, and David Dunning and Judith Kaplan share their experience contributing to an interdisciplinary team-taught freshman program.

For the complete text, please read “Introduction: Pedagogy in the History of Science and Medicine” by Melinda Baldwin and Brigid Vance.

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