This course will explore the roles of women, and questions about women’s nature, in the development of early modern science. The course will consider several interrelated aspects of scientific culture in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries: first, we will look at the place of women in the scientific institutions of the time. Although women were, for the most part, excluded from universities and scientific academies, some women were able to do scientific work through their participation in salons and craft guilds. The second part of the course will look at the contributions of some particular women to the fields of physics, astronomy, botany, and medicine. We will then examine how science interpreted sex and gender. We will pay special attention to the biological sciences and their treatments of sex differences, conception, and generation. We will consider how these biological theories were influenced by, and at the same time used to uphold, various political and social structures. Finally, the course will explore the ways in which gender and nature were portrayed in the broader cultural context. We will, for example, discuss the ways in which women were depicted as scientists and as symbols of science in art and literature.