Friday, July 13, 2012

Should the History of Science Be Rated X? ADDENDA

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent discussion-list post “Should the History of Science Be Rated X? ADDENDA” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

In a previous post “Re: Should the History of Science Be Rated X?” at, I copied the abstract of Stephen Brush’s (1974) classic essay of the above title, but was unable to furnish the references because I did not have access to Brush's complete article. I've now located an online copy at In this post I give:

a. Brush's abstract with references taken from the online version of Brush (1974), but converted to quasi-APA style and updated so as to include hot-links where available;

b. reactions to Brush (1974) in articles (a) “U-Rated Not X-Rated: Reassessing How Science Students Could Benefit from Learning History of Science” [Gooday (2005)] at, and (b) “Does science education need the history of science?” [Gooday et al. (2008)] at;

c. references to a over 30 articles directly relevant to the use of history in science teaching;

d. six quotes on the non-text-book-nature of science progress as borne out by my own involvement in the convoluted early history of high-magnetic-field superconductivity.

To access the complete 42 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

“Such puzzling concepts as force, energy, etc., are man-made and were evolved in an understandable sequence in response to acutely felt and very real problems. They were not handed down by some celestial textbook writer to whom they were immediately self-evident.”
- D.S.L. Cardwell (1963-1964)

“[One of the hallmarks of science literacy is to] recognize that scientific concepts (e.g., velocity, acceleration, force, energy, electrical charge, gravitational and inertial mass). . . . are invented (or created) by acts of human intelligence and are not tangible objects or substances accidentally discovered, like a fossil, or a new plant or mineral.”
- Arnold Arons (1983)

REFERENCES [URL shortened by and accessed on 13 July 2012.
Arons, A.B. 1997. Teaching Introductory Physics. Wiley, publisher's information at information at, note the searchable “Look Inside” feature.

Cardwell, D.S.L. 1963-1964. “Memoirs of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society” 106: 108.

Hake, R.R. 2012. “Should the History of Science Be Rated X? ADDENDA,” online at Post of 13 Jul 2012 13:51:41-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

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