Problems of a Scientific Culture: The Task of Science Education in the Atomic Age

Master's Thesis


I examine the educational theories of two Harvard thinkers: Philipp Frank and James Bryant Conant. I show how Frank’s program for science education had roots in the Viennese Unity of Science movement and that Frank sought to dissolve the boundaries between philosophy and science. I then show how Conant’s educational proposals were a response to the Cold War: educational reform could provide the unity needed for national survival and education in the history of science would make the technocracy of the atomic age less alien. In the final chapter I contrast Frank and Conant’s images of science specifically with regard to what they thought the practice of science was for. I then link Conant’s thoughts to the development of the idea of an autonomous and self-regulating scientific community in the 1950s. In the appendix I take issue with Steve Fuller’s discussion of Conant and Thomas Kuhn.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07182005-102719

Author Patrick David Slaney
Advisor Don Howard
Contributor Chris Hamlin, Committee Member
Contributor Don Howard, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline History and Philosophy of Science
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2005-07-15

Submission Date 2005-07-18
  • United States of America

  • Science Education

  • Philipp Frank

  • James Conant

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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