Science Forward is a skills-based course that focuses on scientific thinking in the context of a variety of different fields of science. We will concentrate on the specific skills that allow one to have good Science Sense: Number Sense, Data Sense, and Knowledge Sense. The course will address important current issues in science that are relevant to policy and public participation and will include active and experiential learning opportunities to allow students to engage in the work of scientists in the field.
Science Forward is a skills-based course that focuses on scientific thinking in the context of different fields of science. The course focuses on the specific skills that allow one to have good Science Sense: Number Sense, Data Sense, and Knowledge Sense. Science Sense includes being able to distinguish science from non-science; the ability to recognize how people collect and process facts into knowledge; the ability to recognize how a collection of facts becomes knowledge; being able to question and evaluate information that is presented as scientific; being an informed consumer, evaluator, and practitioner of science. The interdisciplinary topics will serve as the context for honing students’ Science Sense, focusing on important current issues in science that are relevant to policy and public participation. As a part of understanding how science makes progress, the course will consider scientific ethics, as well as the historical context of scientific discoveries, including discussions of people left out of this historical record and those harmed in the process of coming to this knowledge. The course requires students to read/watch required science content outside of the classroom and to be prepared to use that content during discussions and activities inside the classroom. The course will include active and experiential learning opportunities, to allow students to engage in the work of scientists in the field.
• Develop a sense of scale and calculate order of magnitude estimates with reasonable assumptions.
• Collect and analyze scientific data taken during activities in the field (including the Macaulay BioBlitz common event) and be able to create and communicate their results visually in a research poster (presented at a cross-campus common event).
• Describe and utilize aspects of good experimental design (replication, reproducibility, proper sample choice, controls, etc.) and scientific inquiry in multiple fields of science.
• Describe how science makes progress and changes through time based upon newly available evidence.
• Distinguish science from pseudoscience using critical thinking skills and employing reasonable skepticism.
• Communicate science to scientific and non-scientific audiences through major assignments.
• Leave this course with an appreciation for the similar set of skills employed by scientists in seemingly disparate fields of scientific inquiry and recognize that these skills are not only applicable to their coursework, but also to their daily lives.
Comments by Joseph Ugoretz
Private: Seminar 1 Meeting Minutes
Excellent points, Dennis. I'm sure we'll be continuing to ...