History of Science and Ideas
The History of Science and Ideas addresses human thought from the past to present day. It explores how humans from different periods view themselves and the world, their thoughts on history and the present day and their hopes for the future. The majority of thoughts and ideas we encounter today have their roots in the history of science and ideas, for example many ideas about nature, society, humankind and the transcendental. A number of these thoughts are very old, but amazingly many of these ideas live on today; as humans we carry them with us and they form the way we view the world.
Research within the history of science and ideas is based on how ideas in the form of human thoughts, conceptions and attitudes have a history. And so it is possible to analyse and understand this history based on the impressions or representations that the ideas have left behind. These remain most accessable in different forms of text, from scholarly writings and political pamphlets, to fiction and diary entries, yet they can also be preserved in images, social practices and material relics. Another starting point is that societies, cultures and social contexts influence the development of human thought, whilst ideas simultaneously influence human behaviour and ultimately how culture and society function.
First-cycle courses in the History of Science and Ideas provide orientation in the systems of the natural sciences, medicine and philosophy and the history of political ideology and how society uses knowledge. Using the perspective of the history of science and ideas, you will practise analysing and understanding ideas and notions in history and the present. Teaching places great emphasis on text analysis, argumentation and critical thinking. At second-cycle level, you deepen your analytical abilities in relation to different themes within the history of science and ideas.
As historians of science and ideas we have active collaborations both within and outside the University. We are also active in the media, where we contribute with debate articles, commentary, perspective, analyses, reports and reviews. Here, the democratic task of collaboration is clear and we see it as being very important to participate in open and critically trying discussions on matters of research and education. There is also a long tradition for historians of science and ideas to become involved in different types of public education and popular science.