Lifelong Learning On-Campus

Fall 2015:

Science under Attack (LLS 169)
Meets Tuesdays, 7 – 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 - Dec. 15, 2015, exc. Nov. 24
Science Center, Room 128

It can be argued that for many decades nothing has marked American culture more than its commitment to and leadership in science, both theoretical and applied. Yet, scientific findings are constantly rejected or ignored by individuals and powerful groups who represent a wide spectrum of American society.

This course explores in particular the science of climate change and evolution, including the underlying math and statistics that make it comprehensible. What is the state of scientists' understanding in these areas, and how have their findings been received by the wider public?

The course also asks why those who reject or ignore the science do so. To what extent is it sheer ignorance, or misunderstanding of how science works?

No assumption is made that participants remember their high school math.


The professors:

Deb Bergstrand, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Peter Collings, Morris L. Clothier Professor of Physics

Scott Gilbert, Howard A. Schneiderman Professor Emeritus of Biology


The topics:

Part A (Oct. 13,20,27): The math and statistics that underlie scientific evidence

Part B (Nov. 3,10,17): The science of climate change and its denial

Part C (Dec. 1,8,15): The science of evolution and its denial

Participants may enroll in Part A and one other part, or all three parts. (Part A is mandatory.) If they choose to enroll in just two parts (not recommended), but change their mind during the course and wish to enroll in the third, they may do so if space permits.

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