Impact of Modern Science on Society

Discipline: Biology
Instructor: Burke
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 0920
End: 1035
Field Work: Day 1 - Lisbon - Saturday, 21 June | Portugal Download Syllabus

Modern scientific research is accelerating at a breathtaking pace.  Along with the enormous amount of information that we are generating comes the responsibility of using the information in a socially responsible manner.  This course will explore two topics in depth that impact us daily and are the basis of divisive political discourse in the U.S.A. and abroad. We will explore the science of climate change, the impact it has on modern biology and the impact of research on policy decisions.  We will also explore human genetics and genomics and the impact that these sciences have on decisions that are made for public policies.  The course will be a blend of lectures and group learning exercises from students.  The students will engage in debates and prepare presentations using assigned topics and materials from the assigned books and from other electronic sources.

Field Work

Country: Portugal
Day: 1 - Lisbon - Saturday, 21 June

The class will travel to the Oceanario de Lisboa, a modern state of the art aquarium, on Saturday June 21 for a tour the facility and to observe the diversity of ocean biology.  The students will be instructed to focus on the topic in which they are most interested that will be the focus of their field trip report.  The class will travel to the Centro de Oceanario at the University of Lisbon to meet in small groups with scientists that study the impact of global warming on the ocean and marine life.  Students will summarize their meeting in their field trip report and will discuss their topic of interest with the researcher to gain additional insight into the problems they identified and the solutions that they suggest.  Academic Objectives: 1. To learn about the diversity and complexity of the oceanic ecosystem by direct observation at the Oceanario. 2. To learn about the impact of global warming on the oceanic ecosystem and marine life from exhibits and lectures.

3. To meet researchers from the Centro de Oceanografia to learn, first hand, the nature of their research on the impact of global warming on climate and on marine biology.