Real Science Versus Psuedoscience|
Spring 2011 not offered
This course is designed to inform interested individuals about how to decipher valid scientific fact from foolish and/or fraudulent science that we are exposed to in contemporary society today. The role of the media, courts, government, politicians, and scientific and medical communities in determining what is accepted as fact will be explored. Topics such as the media coverage of SARS and the avian flu virus, how to decipher basic medical statistics, unproven and unregulated therapies and remedies, cancer clusters, and urban legends and superstitions will be covered. Sessions will consist of an introductory lecture on a given topic followed by case studies exploring specific examples of theoretical concepts.
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|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Readings will come from multiple resources such as various texts, scientific journal articles, news and opinion articles, and case studies. Two texts that will be explored are VOODOO SCIENCE: THE ROAD FROM FOOLISHNESS TO FRAUD by Robert Parks and WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS: PSEUDOSCIENCE, SUPERSTITION, AND OTHER CONFUSIONS OF OUR TIME by Michael Shermer.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Student evaluations will be based on a final paper and class presentation, as well as participation and discussion.
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