Day School: From the Scientific Revolution to the Modern Age

Ref: C3741381

An account of the development of science from about 1800 (the Newtonian cosmos) through 19th century developments in biology, medicine, electricity and atomic structure to the particle physics arising from experiments with the Large Hadron Collider today. (No weighty theory involved!) The course comprises five themes: 1. Geological time – evolution and biology, the impact of Darwin’s unsettling news on Victorian England, the interplay between science and religion 2. Power – the industrial harnessing of steam and (later) electricity, understanding of energy, heat and the transfer of power 3. Invisibles – germs, genes and electromagnetic waves 4. The sub-atomic world – the periodic table, the surprising discovery of the properties of radium, atomic power 5. Uncertainties – relativity, the upending of the law-governed universe – quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, particle physics

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

This course aims to give learners an understanding of the development of science from the time immediately after the Scientific Revolution (about 1800) to the present day.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discuss the general development of science from 1800 to the present day, within the themes of the course
  • Identify and describe the social and economic context impacting on the development of science in the period 1800 to the present day
  • 3. Identify the main characters – Darwin, Faraday, Maxwell, Einstein, Dirac, Feynman, and others, and understand (in broad terms) their individual role in the development of science

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • No pre-reading is required, although several books for further reading will be recommended during the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: From the Scientific Revolution to the Modern Age


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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