History of Science Podcasts & Teaching 1


Little did I realize the number of History of Science podcasts out there on the WWW …

The History of Science Society Newsletter did a Q&A on it last July, which featured the producers of two podcasts – Audra J. Wolfe’s Distillations and Elizabeth Green Musselman’s the Missing Link.  Unfortunately, it appears that both of them have suffered recently – Distillations going bi-weekly and the Missing Link being put on indefinite hold.  So, what is the future of all of these podcasts?

A recent study shows that podcasts can be better than real lectures, in certain circumstances (see ‘iTunes university’ better than the real thing), but that is not why I interested in them.  Having taught here in Oxford, where a lot of material is thrown at students in a very short period of time … or at least, that is what happens in the History of Science undergraduate teaching, podcasts could be a very good resource for students.  They could be leveraged to provide students with a wider range of resources than otherwise available (or beyond their reach, such as access to top scholars).  In addition, you can never cover everything in a single course and so podcasts can also be used to fill those gaps.

The next time that I am teaching a course, I will try to work at least a few podcasts into the course and will definitely recommend my students to subscribe to certain podcasts.

Subscribe to Distillations – Chemical Heritage Foundation - Distillations - Distillations

Subscribe to The Missing Link – Elizabeth Green Musselman - The Missing Link - The Missing Link

Or, you can download shows from their Web sites: http://missinglinkpodcast.com and http://distillations.chemheritage.org.


One thought on “History of Science Podcasts & Teaching

  • Audra Wolfe

    Glad you’ve enjoyed the show, and thanks for the shout out. Although we have cut back on the frequency of the shows, the good news is that we currently plan to continue production through at least spring of 2010. Ideas for future shows are welcome!

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