The focus of this course is on the Public Understanding of Science. Using the issues and debate surrounding Vaccines, Genetic Engineering, and Mental Health, our goal is to examine the communication-understanding gap that exists between scientists and the general public.
A related goal is to help you become part of the ‘solution’ rather than part of the ‘problem’ by improving your ability to:
1. Identify and evaluate credible scientific information,
2. Integrate and apply scientific information to ‘real world’ issues,
3. Communicate one’s understanding of science to different audiences.
4. Form ‘good’ hypotheses and ask ‘good’ questions,
5. Read, comprehend, and critique peer-reviewed/scholarly articles,
6. Solve open-ended problems,
7. Recognize patterns, understand models, and formulate the ‘big picture,’
8. Understand the ethical, moral, and social responsibility surrounding
scientific knowledge, and
9. Responsibly participate in science/society discourse.
This course will include lectures, guest speakers, readings, popular and scientific media, graded exercises, and your participation in lecture and discussion section.