445 W. 59th St., New York NY 10019
The Discovery of the Scientific Method.
Professor: Dr. David Munns
Professor’s office: New Building, 8th floor: 8.65.10
Semester: Fall 2013
Course Code: HIS: 131
Course Section: 01
Class time: 2nd 9:25am-10:40am
Office Hours: Mon and Wed 11-12noon
Professor’s phone and e-mail: (646) 557-4496: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description: From the Enlightenment until the present day, “the scientific method” (as the process is commonly referred to) has emerged permitting people to understand and control their world. This course introduces students to an understanding of modern scientific methods through a series of case studies. Each case study will illustrate the creation of theories and practices within a field of science. By studying the origins of scientific theories and practices the student will gain an introductory ability to articulate and evaluate scientific evidence. By assembling the case studies, the student will gain the ability to both speak coherently about the basis of scientific claims and their social issues in the modern world.
• Gather, interpret, and assess information from a variety of scientific sources.
• Evaluate scientific evidence critically.
• Using the history of science, the student will identify the fundamental concepts of several scientific fields, and apply those concepts to cases of scientific claims
• Write papers supported by evidence elucidating arguments concerning the process of scientific knowledge production.
• Articulate and evaluate the empirical evidence supporting various scientific theories.
• Critically understand the basis of scientific claims about current social and political issues.
Course Prerequisite: None.
Policy on Attendance, Etiquette, and Participation: • Attendance is mandatory; Punctuality is polite; An open and inclusive attitude of critical academic inquiry and discourse is expected at all times. All arguments will be respected, and respectfully challenged. • It is inappropriate, and inconsiderate to use your cell phone for any reason in class time. Please switch off your cell phone. • All reading assignments are to be done before class, and participation in class discussion is expected.
The Undergraduate Bulletin (p. 43) states that “students are automatically considered excessively absent and are not eligible for passing grades” if they exceed two weeks’ worth of classes (whether meeting once or twice a week).
The course emphasizes reading, debating, and writing skills that are essential to university graduates. There are no notes available, and few lecture handouts. YOU are expected to take notes, and then share and compile notes with your fellows. Practice in note-taking is like practicing the piano: you only learn by doing. Essays and exams can be considered similarly. You should write, and then re-write your essays; you should practice exam questions within your study group. Say there are four of you compiling notes in your group. For four days each of you takes turns to write out a question and then together you explore the answers. The readings are, in reality, only the beginning. They will be focused on in discussion, and used as a springboard in many lectures. You should be taking notes on the readings, and deepening your knowledge of the historical issues through more reading. The best way to test your knowledge of the lecture and reading material is via discussion in the tutorials. If you don’t come to class, nor do the reading, nor attend and participate fully in the tutorials it is exactly like buying a math’s text and never doing a single practice problem: how well do you expect to do? Moreover, when you have that job that you are doing your major classes to get, and you have to make a presentation to the company, do you think that they are concerned about your facts? No. They