SHiPS Resource Center ||   Historical Updates
Recent insights into familiar (but mistaken) stories about science.

Here we aim to update important historical narratives that frequently enter textbooks or the lore of science education. Most histories are more complex--and hence far more interesting--than typical anecdotes suggest. The effective teacher--like good historians and sociologists--learns to analyze the rhetorical and political implications of our stories, the implicit "moral" of each history, and the motivations and credibility of any author.
  • FEATURE ESSAY: "How NOT to Teach History in Science"
  • In the Shadows of Giants: Boyle's Law?, Bunsen's Burner?, and Petri's Dish
  • Flirting with Fraud?: Millikan, Mendel and the Fringes of Scientific Integrity
  • The politics behind Galileo's Trial
  • Newton's Colors: the controversy over prisms and the story of ROYGBIV
  • Phlogiston after Oxygen -- not an oxymoron?
  • Mendel and Mendelian Genetics: What's the real connection?
  • Mendel's Mistake?: understanding dominance from 1865 to the present
  • The Huxley-Wilberforce Debate
  • Penicillin & Chance: who shared the Nobel Prize with Alexander Fleming -- and why
  • Four Nobel Prize winners who erred, illustrating "The Nature of Scientific Inquiry"

    Crucial Experiments?

  • Pasteur and Tyndall on spontaneous generation: memorable icons versus good experiments
  • The Michelson-Morley Experiment: not a precursor to Einstein
  • Kettlewell's Missing Evidence: what the textbooks omit about the peppered moth case

    last updated: 10/15/00

  • Home [arrow] SHiPS helps teachers share resources for integrating history, philosophy and sociology in the science classroom. E-mail us at for our quarterly news.