Better learning through history: using archival resources to teach healthcare ethics to science students

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2 Scopus citations


While the use of archives is common as a research methodology in the history and philosophy of science (HPS), training in archival methods is more often encountered as part of graduate-level training than in the undergraduate curriculum. Because many HPS instructors are likely to have encountered archival methods during their own research training, they are uniquely positioned to make effective pedagogical use of archives in classes comprised of undergraduate science students. Further, because doing this may require changing the way HPS instructors think about the aims and varieties of archival research, archivists themselves can be valuable resources in developing archives-based learning activities for science students in HPS classrooms. In this article, we describe an archives-based learning activity developed for a population of primarily pre-medical students in a healthcare ethics class and discuss the pedagogical benefits of this activity. This activity was developed via a collaboration between an HPS instructor (Bursten) and an education archivist (Strandmark). Our hope is that this discussion may serve both as a proof of concept for the use of archives-based learning activities as tools for teaching HPS to science students, and as an argument for the unique benefits that archival engagement can impart to science students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Archives
  • Bioethics
  • Enovid
  • Integrated history and philosophy of science
  • Science education
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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