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Science, Technology, and Global Politics, 1900 to Present (HI3S6)


Science today is a big part of political life. From the COVID-19 pandemic through to the climate emergency, much of contemporary political debate concerns science and technology. This, however, is not a recent phenomenon. Scientists have long been involved in political debate, whether that was during the anticolonial campaigns of the 1930s or the environmental movements of the 1970s. If we want to understand the politics of science and technology today, we therefore need to look to the past.

In this 30 CAT final-year module, we do just that, exploring the political history of science, moving from the early twentieth century through to the present. Topics covered include the history of socialism, fascism, feminism, anti-racism, environmentalism, and anticolonialism. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on exploring the history of science as part of global political history. The politics of science in Europe and the United States is studied alongside that in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

No scientific knowledge is required to take this module.

For those interested in taking this course in the following academic year, I'd be very happy to answer any questions you might have via email, or arrange a meeting to talk more. Please do get in contact.


Convenor: Dr James Poskett
Email: j dot poskett at warwick dot ac dot uk
Office: 3.50, Third Floor, Faculty of Arts Building


Seminar Times: 11-1pm, Mondays (Group 1) and 11-1pm, Thursdays (Group 2)

Seminar Rooms: FAB 2.35 (Group 1) and FAB 2.34 (Group 2)

Sputnik V Vaccine

Chinese Poster

Nuclear Survival Booklet

Images from top to bottom:

Figure 1: Russian medical worker holding 'Sputnik V' COVID-19 vaccine. (Source: Wikimedia)

Figure 2: 'Study the Soviet Union, to Advance to the World Level of Science', Chinese propaganda poster, August 1958. (Source:

Figure 3: 'Survival: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family, Your Community in Event of Attack', American book, 1958 (Source: Envisioning the American Dream)