Columbia

SCNC W3920: IGNORANCE: How it Drives Science | S. Firestein

W 6:10-8:00 | 2 Points
Prerequisites: have completed the CORE science requirements. Scientific knowledge increases at an exponential rate. Curiously ignorance does not similarly decrease. The basic activity of science is to engage ignorance. In this course we will examine the scientific approach to ignorance, though readings, discussions and visits from working scientists who will discuss the state of ignorance in their field and in their individual laboratories. We hope to gain an understanding of the scientific process by analyzing how it approaches what it doesn’t know. We will also include the scientific approach to uncertainty, doubt and failure – all crucial ingredients in the activity of scientific investigation. Requirements will include weekly postings based on readings and visiting lectures, and a final paper. This class will meet only ten times between February 4 and April 15 (thus its value of 2 points). Because of this short, but intense, schedule absences will not be excused and will have a negative impact on the final grade. This course does not satisfy any science requirements. Admission to the course is limited and requires permission of the instructor. This can be gained by submitting a brief (max 350 words) statement outlining your interest in taking this course and what you hope to achieve in the course. “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done” -Marie Curie, letter to her brother 18 March 1894

 

Posted in: 2016 Spring Undergraduate, ALL


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