Every day the public is faced with news of new scientific findings that have a great impact on our lives and health - from the latest causes of cancer to the dire predictions of climate science. This course is aimed at Sustainability majors and non-science majors, to help them gain an understanding of how science is done. Topics will include the peer review process, common experimental designs, the importance of sample size, interpreting graphs and statistics, and the role of the media in conveying science. This course will provide students with the tools to help them critically evaluate science in the news. Three lecture hours per week.
After completion of this course, students should be able to: 1. Explain the basic features of the scientific process - such as peer review, hypothesis generation, and controlled experimentation. 2. Critically read and evaluate secondary sources of science news. 3. Distinguish between science and pseudoscience based on criteria relating to the process of science.