Courses in Science and Society at Columbia University

Columbia and Barnard have a constellation of faculty members located in a variety of departments and institutes whose research and interests lie at the intersection of science and the humanities. Among many specializations, include the historical development of scientific knowledge and in the processes—technical, social, political, intellectual, material and cultural—by which knowledge has been acquired, disseminated, and employed.

List of Courses: 2016 Fall Undergraduate

Archive for 2016 Fall Undergraduate

UN3496 Neuroscience & Society⎪C. Marvin

Undergraduate Seminar
W 2:10-4PM

This course investigates the ways in which research in human neuroscience both reflects and informs societal issues. Topics include how neuroscience research is interpreted and applied in areas such as healthcare, education, law, consumer behavior, and public policy.

Prerequisites: Science of Psychology (PSYC 1001) or Mind, Brain, & Behavior (PSYC 1010), or equivalent introductory psychology course. Students who have not taken one of these courses may also be admitted with instructor permission.

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SCPP BC3333 Genetics, Biodiversity & Society⎪B. Morton, P. Ammirato, S. Pereira

Tuesday 2:10pm-4:00pm ; 4 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission required. Students should contact B. Morton. Module I: Development and Valuation of Plant Genetic Resources. Science and consequences of plant breeding, biotechnology, and genetic engineering; costs and benefits of maintaining biodiversity; public policy issues and options. Module II: Genetic Technology and Society. Human genome project, scientific basis and interpretation of genetic screening; individual choice, social implications, and ethical issues.

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CLPS G4200 Freud⎪J. House

W 6:10pm-8:00pm ; 4 credits

Because of advances in feminist theory, infant research, clinical practice attachment theory and historical scholarship, a consensus has emerged concerning Freud’s oeuvre over the past fifty years: the figure of the mother is largely absent from all aspects of his thinking. This includes his self-self analysis, case histories, theory of development and account of religion and civilization. This fact will provide our point of reference for examining the development of Freud’s thought. We will first explore the biographical roots of this lacuna in Freud’s thinking. We will then see how it played itself out as his long and abundant career unfolded. We will examine texts regarding all the aspects of his thinking and from the different periods of his life.

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SOCI G4370: Processes of Stratification and Inequality l S. Spilerman

W 4:10pm-6:00pm, 3 credits

The nature of opportunity in American society; the measurement of inequality; trends in income and wealth inequality; issues of poverty and poverty policy; international comparisons.

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EESC W1201: Environmental Risks & Disasters l G. Ekstrom

T/Th 11:40-12:55 , 3 credits

Prerequisites: high school science and math. An introduction to risks and hazards in the environment. Different types of hazards are analyzed and compared: natural disasters, such as tornados, earthquakes, and meteorite impacts; acute and chronic health effects caused by exposure to radiation and toxic substances such as radon, asbestos, and arsenic; long-term societal effects due to environmental change, such as sea level rise and global warming. Emphasizes the basic physical principles controlling the hazardous phenomena and develops simple quantitative methods for making scientifically reasoned assessments of the threats (to health and wealth) posed by various events, processes, and exposures. Discusses methods of risk mitigation and sociological, psychological, and economic aspects of risk control and management.

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COMS W4995: Special Topics in CS I | H. Schulzrinne

Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:40-6:55PM

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AMST W3930.6: Life at the End of Life | R. Pollack

Thursday 4:10pm-6:00pm | 4 Points
This Seminar is designed to provide opportunities for readings and reflections on the experience of volunteer service work in the At Your Service program at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center. Students will learn how to critically reflect on their experiences at the health care center in the context of questions raised in the texts read in the seminar. Shared experiences and reflections on texts and interactions at TCC will enhance the critical reflection of all students engaged in the course. Students will experience what it means to be a long-term or short-term patient in a nursing home. Students will provide assistance and support, whether emotional or recreational, or by simply serving as the person consistently there for someone during chronic illness or at the end of their life. At the core of this framework is the patient; however, it is important to think about the impact this will have on the student as well. Students will develop skills necessary to critically reflect on the significance of emotional care as a medical practitioner, as well as form a deeper understanding of the role of palliative care and comfort care in a life cycle of care. Students are required to read The Anatomy of Hope by Jerome Groopman, M.D., and What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri, M.D. Ph.D. At least one prior semester of volunteer work in a clinical setting relevant to the syllabus is recommended. Permission of instructor required.
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ANTH BC 3829: Absent Bodies | L. Sharp

W 10:10am-12:00pm | 4 Points
Prerequisites: Open to undergrad majors; others with the instructor’s permission. Across a range of cultural and historic contexts, one encounters traces of bodies – and persons – rendered absent, invisible, or erased. Knowledge of the ghostly presence nevertheless prevails, revealing an inextricable relationship between presence and absence. This course addresses the theme of absent bodies in such contexts as war and other memorials, clinical practices, and industrialization, with interdisciplinary readings drawn from anthropology, war and labor histories, and dystopic science fiction.
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ANTH V 3861: Anthropology of the Anthropocene | K. Tekin

W 2:10-4:00 | 4 Points
This course focuses on the political ecology of the anthropocene. As multiple publics become increasingly aware of the extensive and accelerated rate of current global environmental change, and the presence of anthropogenesis in ever expanding circumstances, we need to critically analyze the categories of thought and action being developed in order to carefully approach this change. Our concern is thus not so much the Anthropocene as an immutable fact, inevitable event, or definitive period of time {significant though these are) but rather for the political, social, and intellectual consequences of this important idea. Thus we seek to understand the creativity of “The Anthropocene” as a political, rhetorical, and social category. We also aim to examine the networks of capital and power that have given rise to the current state of planetary change, the strategies for ameliorating those changes, and how these are simultaneously implicated in the rhetorical creation of “The Anthropocene” Priority given to Majors in Anthropology. Enrollment limit is 15.
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HIST BC 2305: Bodies and Machines | D. Coen

MW 11:40a – 12:55p | 3 Points
Situates key scientific and technological innovations of the modern era in their cultural context by focusing on the interactions between bodies and machines. Through our attention to bodily experience and material culture, we will explore the ways in which science and technology have shaped and been shaped by the culture of modernity.
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@The Center of Science and Society at Columbia University 2016
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