Science and Society Courses

Do you like science and are wondering how it relates to society?  You can take these four engaging courses regardless of your major. Learn about our Introductory Physics courses.

FYS-110 Science in the Media
Katherine Aidala

Scientific breakthroughs contribute to everyone's quality of life, but they are poorly understood by many, leading to misunderstandings and misgivings that can affect public policy. In this course, you'll read about newsworthy topics from current scientific research and meet the people behind them, learn how to better understand science, explore ideas such as scientific consensus and repeatability, and analyze the tension that may exist between scientists and the public.

FYS-110 Gender in Science
Katherine Aidala 

Why are women underrepresented in the sciences? You will explore this controversial subject focusing on how to increase the participation of women in science. You'll take on questions about gender differences in cognition and ability, confront the role of stereotyping, and examine why certain fields have more women than others.

104f Renewable Energy
Alexi Arango

The risks associated with burning fossil fuels threaten not only our delicate ecosystem but also human health and global economic vitality.  Unfortunately, few of us understand what must be done to convert our energy infrastructure to renewable sources of energy.  In this course, you'll explore the scientific underpinnings of renewable energy, build an understanding of basic (but important) mathematical calculations, and learn how to effectively communicate practical ways to solve our energy crisis.

Phys-141 PHYS-141-01 (93883) Themes in Physics and Art
Spencer Smith

Physics and Art represent the world in seemingly different ways, however they share many common themes: the guiding role of symmetry, the tension between order and disorder, and the emergence of structure from many simple constituents. We will explore some of the big ideas in physics, including quantum mechanics, relativity, entropy, and chaos theory, by looking at how these underlying themes are represented in the visual arts. Islamic tessellations, Japanese Suminagashi paper marbling, as well works by contemporary artists such as Tara Donovan will guide us toward an intuitive understanding of some of the most exciting ideas in physics without the need for any prior physics background.