Day School The Scientific Revolution

Ref: C2225132

Beginning with the knowledge passed on to Europe from the Ancient Greeks, mainly via Arabic philosophers, this course seeks to provide an understanding of the development of the “scientific method” through the work and discoveries of Francis Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Newton and others. The course also reflects on the broader question of whether a “revolution” actually occurred. The course touches on: basic details of ancient Greek science, the influence of Arab philosophers on early Medieval Europe; Copernican astronomy, the birth of the “Scientific Method”, first articulated by Francis Bacon in the early 17th century; the experiments and dramatic discoveries of Galileo, the expression of the sciences in the language of mathematics, and the developments of Kepler, Huygens and Isaac Newton.

Course aim

An examination of the Scientific Revolution, and of whether that is an appropriate description of the 16-17th century period when “religion, superstition, and fear were replaced by reason and knowledge".

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 scientific understanding in the period prior to The Scientific Revolution
  • Name and set out the basic theories and ideas of the main characters of The Scientific Revolution
  • Put The Scientific Revolution into its historical context, and discuss how some historians might dispute that a “revolution” actually occurred

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

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 or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Day School The Scientific Revolution


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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