• In response to increasing student interest in science’s latest answers to the Big Questions, and the growing importance of science in today’s knowledge economy, Sacramento State has joined the ranks of top-tier universities offering History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) programs. Sacramento State's HPS Program includes student research fellows, new course offerings in the Department of History, visiting scholars, graduate student liaisons, and more.

  • "Sac State initiative combines science, history and philosophy" (Sacramento State News: Office of Public Affairs & Advocacy)


    "Program Cultivates Critical Thinking" by Sophia De Leon - State Hornet
  • In collaboration with the Department of History, with the expertise of its many faculty with strong publication and teaching records in the areas of history of science, history of medicine, and history of technology, Sacramento State’s HPS Program is a joint initiative bridging the College of Arts and Letters with the Consortium for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences (CPNS). This partnership leverages CPNS’s international team of research fellows, strong research and publication record (including articles in Nature, Foundations of Physics, and other top journals, as well as numerous books from publishers including Oxford University Press, Springer, etc.) and grant funding (over $1 million since 2008) into strong courses, student research internships, advising, and programmatic offerings for Sacramento State students.

  • New Courses

    Visiting Scholar Series

    Student Research Initiative - A Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Research Group

    Student Mentorship and Graduate School Advising from CPNS Graduate Student Liaisons

    • Sacramento State's HPS Program will be further strengthened by its integration with other CPNS and partner initiatives, including:

    • CPNS Program for Science and Human Values

      • Graduate Courses at U.C. Berkeley - Graduate Theological Union: Starting spring 2015, the CPNS Program for Science and Human Values, in collaboration with U.C. Berkeley-GTU, will be offering graduate courses that explore the history and philosophy of religion and modern science. The first of these courses was "Orthodox Christianity and Modern Science: A Dialogue with the Western Scholastic Tradition, taught by Michael Epperson (ST 4320, Tuesdays 11:10 - 2:00 PM, MUDD 205)

        History Department Curriculum Design Grant awarded to design CSUS’s first history of science and religion course
        . HIST 104B, "Reading the Heavens: The Coevolution of Christian and Scientific Understandings of the Universe in the West" examines the co-evolution of western science and Christian theology from the vantage point of intellectual history. Click here for the syllabus.


        Ecology of Practices Research Network

        • An affiliation of research centers spanning diverse disciplines in the sciences, humanities, engineering, and the arts, this network includes CPNS at California State University, Sacramento; the Program for Computer Aided Architectural Design at ETH Zurich; and the Synthesis Center in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University. We focus on those disciplines where engineering and technology serve as a bridge between experience and scientific formal structures and conceptual frameworks.

          Ontogenesis Process Group: Sha Xin Wei (ASU), Stuart Kauffman (Santa Fe), Giuseppe Longo (École Normale Supérieure), Michael Epperson (CPNS - CSUS), Adam Nocek (ASU), Cary Wolfe (Rice), Phillip Thurtle (Univ. of Washington), Gaymon Bennett (ASU), Erin Espelie (University of Colorado). OPG is a research stream animated by the thesis that the living world in all its modes—biological, semiotic, economic, affective, social, etc.—escapes finite schema of description. Our work is based on a deep and sustained engagement with biological, physical, and computational sciences, operating in conjunction with anthropological, philosophical, and artistic modes of inquiry. Recent publication:Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 25.3, Special Issue, "Ontogenesis Beyond Complexity," June 2020.

        • HPS Visiting Scholars

          • Timothy Eastman, a space physicist at NASA Goddard, and Senior Research Fellow at CPNS specializing in space plasma and plasma astrophysics, gave a series of two lectures on the history and philosophy of modern cosmology and recent breakthroughs in our understanding of the origin of the universe. November 5 - "Cosmic Agnosticism: Current Problems and Alternative Perspectives in Cosmology" - California State University, Sacramento (Public lecture for a general audience.) 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Petris Room, University Library (3rd floor, Room 3023) (POSTER) (POWERPOINT): November 6 - "The Plasma Universe: Gravity Plus Electromagnetism" Department of Physics Colloquium - California State University, Sacramento 4:00 - 5:20, Mendocino Hall 1015 (POSTER) (POWERPOINT)

            Professor Robert Geyer of Lancaster University gave a lecture on complexity theory and public policy. November 19 - "Using Complexity to Help Understand and Manage Public Policy" - California State University, Sacramento. 5:30 - 7:30 pm, Petris Room, University Library (3rd floor, Room 3023)(POSTER) (POWERPOINT)

            Previous HPS Visiting Scholars include: Elias Zafiris (University of Athens), David Finkelstein (Georgia Tech), Spyridon Koutroufins (Technical University of Berlin)

          HPS Student Research Initiative

          • As part of Sacramento State's History and Philosophy of Science Initiative, CPNS Undergraduate Student Research Fellows develop and implement interdisciplinary research projects bridging empirical inquiry within the fields of the natural sciences and mathematics (NSM) into cross-connection with the field of history and philosophy of science (HPS). These faculty supervised student research projects give undergraduates crucial experience in the synthesis of new ideas and their proper investigation via both empirical study and analysis of scholarly literature in the natural sciences, philosophy of science, and history of science. Beyond these goals, the CPNS Student Research Initiative provides students with the unique opportunity to network and collaborate with both CPNS Graduate Research Fellows and CPNS Faculty Research Fellows across multiple institutions, both nationally and internationally. Click here for our 2014-2015 Project: "Tesla's Oscillator."

          • HPS Student Research Projects

            • CURRENT

              Spring 2024: Hannah McCoy - History Major
              HIST 199 Project: "Biological Sex and Gender: Causative or Interrelated?"

              Fall 2023: Gavin Roberts - History and Ethnic Studies Double Major
              HIST 199 Project: "The Application of Complexity Theory to the Evolution of Racial and Ethnic Social Dynamics in the United States"

              Spring 2023: Byron Saylor - Computer Science Major
              HIST 199 Project: "Social and Educational Implications of Generative LLM Artificial Intelligence"

              Fall 2024: Kevin Rivera - Political Science Major
              HIST 199 Project: "Artificial Intelligence: Facts and Fictions"

              Spring 2022: Michelle Spremich - MA Program
              HIST 299 Project: "Mathematics, the Hierarchy of Knowledge, and the Scientific Method"

              Spring 2019: Michelle Spremich - History Major
              HIST 199 Project: "History of Modern Quantum Theory and Its Mathematical Foundations"


              Christopher Keys - Physics Major
              ALS 199 Project: "The History of Tesla's Oscillator"

              Elizabeth Keys - Physics Major
              ALS 199 Project: "HPS Ultimate Questions Student Discussion Group"

              Alina Hagar - Philosophy Major
              ALS 199 Project: "HPS Ultimate Questions Student Discussion Group"

            HPS Student Research Fellows

            • Michelle Spremich

              CPNS Graduate Research Fellow, MA Program - Department of History, CSUS
              (Previously CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow, Department of History, CSUS)

              Elizabeth Keys

              CPNS Graduate Research Fellow, Ph.D. Program - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University
              (Previously CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow - Department of Physics, CSUS)

              Christopher Keys

              CPNS Graduate Research Fellow, Ph.D. Program - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University
              (Previously CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow - Department of Physics, CSUS)