GEN ST 297
Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics include faculty's research techniques or findings, concentrated reading in his/her area of interest, or illustrated problems and alternative related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Class structure varies based on instructor. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.
This seminar will explore revolutions in the fields of astronomy, physics, psychology, genetics, and evolution, through the original writings and worlds of thinkers such as Galileo, Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, Pavlov, Freud, Darwin, Poincaré, and Faraday. It will examine paradigm shifts in fundamental areas of science, focusing on the concept of scientific revolutions as described by Thomas Kuhn. Students will be introduced to the concept of a scientific paradigm, as well as how paradigms can limit scientific thinking, and how questions, outliers, and divergent theories contribute to scientific revolutions. As the relationship between theory and facts is foundational to any area of inquiry, the course is designed for science majors and non-science majors alike.
Student learning goals
Understand the concept of a scientific paradigm
Understand how paradigms can limit scientific thinking
Understand how questions, outliers, and divergent theories contribute to scientific revolutions
Examine general and specific factors that contribute to trends and shifts in scientific thinking
Learn to go beyond secondary and tertiary sources by examining the primary writings of key scientific thinkers
General method of instruction
Class time will be primarily used for small group discussion and brief presentations of ideas. Students may also be asked to make a short presentation to the class.
The course is designed for science majors and non-science majors alike.
Class assignments and grading
Students will be expected to complete readings each week and to write a short essay (250 words or less) answering a key question relating to the readings.
Weekly essays and ongoing engagement in classroom discussion will indicate student progress. Class is pass/fail.