First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
LE09108523, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
LE0607, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination HISTORY OF SCIENCE
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ELENA CANADELLI M-STO/05

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-STO/05 History of Science and Techniques 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 CANADELLI ELENA (Presidente)
SORBA CARLOTTA (Membro Effettivo)
1 Commissione 2018/19 01/06/2019 30/11/2019 CANADELLI ELENA (Presidente)
SORBA CARLOTTA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Interest and curiosity towards history of science. Basic knowledge of English in order to read some of the texts.
Target skills and knowledge: The course provides:
1) the knowledge of the main themes and problems of the history of science - with particular regard to natural and biological sciences of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - and the main historiographical trends in the discipline, from the material and visual history of science to the global history of science;
2) the knowledge of the concept of nature and of the role of naturalists, especially Darwin, of their knowledge and practices, in the broader historical and political context of the Nineteenth Century;
3) the relationships between science and society and science in the public sphere along Darwin's century;
4) the ability to read and compare critically the sources concerning the main naturalists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Linnaeus, Buffon, Alexander von Humboldt, Lamarck, Darwin, A.R. Wallace;
5) the knowledge of the main projects concerning handwritten or printed sources on the topics at stake, including the Darwin Correspondence Project or the Biodiversity Heritage Library;
6) the acquisition of interdisciplinary skills from other areas of culture such as philosophy, literature and the arts;
7) the ability to elaborate a research regarding the history of science in a autonomous way, taking into account the main historiographical problems and a precise examination of the sources and places linked to the history of science.
Examination methods: Oral exam. For attending students discussion and participation in the class will be highly considered and valued.
For students not attending classes, please contact me.
Assessment criteria: It will be take into consideration:
1) knowledge and comprehension of topics and methodologies explained during the course;
2) personal analysis of the topics and selected historiography;
3) knowledge of primary and secundary sources;
4) ability to develop a personal critical inquiry of historiography.
Course unit contents: The course is dedicated to exploring the evolution and history of the concept of nature in the natural and biological sciences of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, focusing especially on the life and work of Darwin. On the one hand, the theories of Linnaeus, Buffon, Lamarck, Alexander von Humboldt, Darwin, A.R. Wallace and their ideas of nature will be taken into consideration. On the other hand, the formation of a naturalists' community through scientific societies, congress, journals will be taken into consideration. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between science and society along Darwin's century, from natural history museum to natural history public lectures and popularization.
The introductory part of the course will provide basic notions concerning the history of science and the historiography of the history of science, presenting the crucial moments in the history of the discipline, fundamental for understanding the methodologies and the main current trends.
The second part of the course will focus on naturalists' knowledge and practices between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a special focus on Darwin: exploring, observing, measuring, collecting, drawing.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Traditional lectures with power-point and discussion with students. The students will be presenting texts to be discussed together.
At least one visit to the places of naturalistic knowledge of the University of Padova, such as the botanical garden or the natural sciences collections of Palazzo Cavalli, is expected.
Attending the course is highly recommended.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Bibliography, some texts (selected secundary and primary sources) and powerpoints will be uploaded on Moodle platform. In addition, see also books proposed below:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Beretta, Marco, Storia materiale della scienza. Roma: Carocci, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Barsanti, Giulio, Una lunga pazienza ciecastoria dell'evoluzionismo. Torino: G. Einaudi, 2005. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Charles Darwin, Antologia di testi. Roma: Carocci, 2019. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Action learning
  • Story telling
  • Concept maps
  • Peer feedback
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Students peer review
  • Learning journal

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

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