Conceptual Foundations of Science

Donald Cotter, Co-Chair

Kate Singer, Co-Chair

Overview and Contact Information

The minor in conceptual foundations of science explores the creation, transmission, and use of knowledge about the natural world.


This area of study is administered by the Conceptual Foundations of Science Committee:

Andrew Lass, Professor of Anthropology on the Ford Foundation

Mark Peterson, Professor of Physics and Mathematics on the Alumnae Foundation

Stan Rachootin, David and Lucy Stewart Professor of Biological Sciences

Donald Cotter, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Timothy Farnham, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Samuel Mitchell, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Kate Singer, Associate Professor of English

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 16 credits:

One Gateway Course:
CST-248Science, Revolution, and Modernity4
orĀ ENVST-240 The Value of Nature
Three additional 4-credit courses, at the 200 or 300 level, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor from the committee, from the faculty-approved list for the minor12
Total Credits16

Additional Specifications

  • One-time or occasional offerings appropriate for the minor not appearing on the list of approved relatedĀ courses may be included with approval of the committee chair.
  • Students may also take appropriate course work at other schools with approval of the committee chair.

Related Courses

Approved courses for the Conceptual Foundations of Science minor include:

ANTHR-235Development of Anthropological Thought4
ANTHR-240Medical Anthropology4
Biological Sciences
Critical Social Thought
CST-248Science, Revolution, and Modernity4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-240The Value of Nature4
ENVST-317Perspectives on American Environmental History4