2018 History of Technology B

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Takuma Naoki  Nakajima Hideto 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon1-2(W521)  Thr1-2(W521)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This lecture shows the merging process of science and technology, and tries to elucidate what techno-science is. It also focuses on the historical formation of industrial society in 20 century in order to set the basis to consider how techno-science should be in the 21st century.

Student learning outcomes

1) Students will be able to explain the difference among science, technology and techno-science by their own words.
2) Students will be able to comprehend overall trend of the evolution of science and technology.
3) Students will be able to make rough sketch of how science and technology operate in society.


science, technology, techno-science, Industrial Revolution, the Second Industrial Revolution, industrial laboratory, American System, Ford System.

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

At the beginning of every class, I give short explanation on questions of comment sheets of the former lecture, then start lecture of the day. After Q & A, students make comment sheets.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation and Introduction Decision on enrollment; The definition and roots of “science,” “technology” and “techno-science”
Class 2 Science & technology of the ancient Greece and Rome The quest for explaining natural phenomena by the ancient Greeks, and the pursuit of practicality by the Romans
Class 3 Science & technology in the Middle Ages (1) The growth of agricultural production in western Europe, shaping of cities, science & technology in the Islamic world, 12th Century Renaissance, etc.
Class 4 Science & technology in the Middle Ages (2) Inventions influential until today, such as gunpowder, papers and typographical printing
Class 5 Prologue to Scientific Revolution: the development of heliocentric theories The observation technologies that underpinned the development of heliocentric theories, and tremendous efforts of the astronomers
Class 6 Scientific Revolution and the institutionalization of science The establishment of mechanics by Newton; The establishment of the Royal Society and the French Academy of Science
Class 7 The beginning of Industrial Revolution Students understand that the Industrial Revolution started in the cotton industry, far before the invention of Watt’s Steam Engine.
Class 8 The propagation of Industrial Revolution to other industries Students understand that the large increase of production in the cotton industry stimulated the creation or upgrading of other industries, such as steam engine, bleaching, iron industry, railways, etc..
Class 9 The propagation of Industrial Revolution to other countries Students learn Industrial Revolution in other countries like France, Germany, United States, and Japan.
Class 10 Professionalization of science The emergence of a large number of full-time scientists who could earn their livings; The establishment of science and engineering departments in higher education institutions
Class 11 The Second Industrial Revolution Students understand that science-based technology arose from the latter-half of 19th century.
Class 12 War and science & technology The mobilization of scientists and engineers in World War I and II; The shaping of vested interest of scientists and engineers
Class 13 Mass production American system, Ford system, Sloan system of GM, Toyota’s “Kanban” system, completely-automated factory, etc..
Class 14 The linear and non-linear model of innovation Students understand the linear model of innovation which argues the basic science is the driver of innovation. Students also see how such model was reconsidered afterwards.
Class 15 Wrap-up Review of the contents of this lecture in order to comprehend overall trend of science and technology


Hideto Nakajima (2008), Science in Society (in Japanese), Foundation for the promotion of Open University of Japan.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Please see referenced books in the text book above.

Assessment criteria and methods

Final exam 50%, Mid-term exam 20%, Comment sheets at the end of lectures 30%

Related courses

  • LAH.T103 : History of Technology A
  • LAH.T303 : History of Technology C
  • LAH.T102 : History of Science A
  • LAH.T202 : History of Science B

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Basic knowledge of high school level world history

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