Paula Findlen

Paula Findlen 2015

Co-Chair, History and Philosophy of Science
Ubaldo Pierotti Professor in Italian History, Department of History
Director of the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science

History Department
Bldg. 200, Rm. 118
Stanford, CA 94305-2024



Paula Findlen teaches history of science before it was "science" (which is, after all, a nineteenth-century word). Her main interests are the scientific revolution, natural history before Darwin, and the history of medicine; her regional emphasis is on Italy in the age of Galileo.

Professor Findlen received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and taught at the University of California, Davis and Harvard before coming to Stanford. She is the author of Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), which received the 1995 Howard Marraro Prize in Italian History and the 1996 Pfizer Prize for best book in History of Science. Her new book on women in early modern science entitled, The Daughters of Galileo: Knowledge and Desire at the End of the Scientific Revolution. will appear in 1998. Eventually she hopes to finish another project, When Science Became Serious. But she is trying not to be too serious about it...


When Worlds Collide: The Trial of Galileo HPS 154/254 | Hist 216/316 | STS 229: Undergraduate Colloquium

In 1633 the Italian mathematician Galileo was tried and condemned for his advocacy of a sun-centered cosmology. The Catholic Church did not publicly admit that Galileo was right until 1989. What does this highly publicized event tell us about the long and complex relationship between science and religion? Why has the "Galileo affair" continued to be one of the most discussed episodes in Italian history and the history of science? Examines documents from Galileo's trial and related literature on Renaissance Italy. Allows students an opportunity to critique historians' interpretations of this event.

Science, Technology and Art: The Worlds of Leonardo HPS 153 | STS 202 | Hist

Undergraduate/Graduate Colloquium: New Worlds, Imaginary Worlds HPS 152 | Hist 213A/313A

The Emergence of Modern Medicine Hist 13 | HPS 121

Varieties of the Renaissance Hist 409A same as 309: Graduate Colloquium.

Can also be taken as a 2-quarter research seminar.

The Scientific Revolution HPS 145/245 | Hist 139: Lecture Course

Was there a "scientific revolution" in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? What does it mean to understand nature in more modern ways? Explores changing ideas of nature and knowledge during the age of Copernicus, Galileo, Harvey and Newton. Examines issues of scientific methodology -- e.g. induction, deduction, probability, the rise of experimentation -- the development of scientific institutions, and the emergence of the scientist as a historical figure.


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