*HISTSCI 131V. Environments in Crisis

Our understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment has been forged in moments of crisis: natural and human-made disasters, technological failures, political disputes, scientific controversies. This course will address science, technology, and the environment in historical perspective through focused studies of environments in crisis, involving issues such as the pesticide DDT (the subject of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring), nuclear fallout, coal mining, extinction and endangered species, climate change, and toxic chemical leaks in India and the US. We will learn to sort out the complex dynamics of nature, knowledge, ethics, and power wrapped up in environmental crises, and how understandings of environmental crisis both shape and are shaped by specific social, cultural, and political contexts (including our own).

Notes: Permission of instructor required.


Evan Hepler-Smith







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History of Science

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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2017-2018 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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