Kim and I have been discussing an upper-level ENSC/CHEM course (for science majors since the only science classes that non-majors take are core classes and this is not a core-class). The course will focus on climate change/alternative energy.
Course goals: Upon completion of this course students will be able to….
- Evaluate ‘good’ sources of data (learn how to evaluate if data are credible/reliable) and conflicting data.
- Use a scientific approach to problem-solving, and use scientific ‘expertise’ for reasoning through ‘real-world’ issues.
- Appreciate and understand uncertainty.
- Communicate science to non-majors and the public (aka ‘Joe the plumber’ and ‘Joe six pack’ – why is Joe such a population name for these sorts of things?).
- Understand (in a nutshell) how public policy decisions are made and the role of science (and scientists) in this process.
- Recognize bias (in data collection and presentation).
- Get involved (recognize opportunities to put their scientific knowledge to good use).