Class Description and Policies for Citizen Science 2014,
Section 10. Citizen Daniel [Newsome]
From Hans von Gersdorff's Feldbuch der Wundartznei
(Book of the Art of Healing Wounds) of 1517
Email is the best way to contact me. Email for me, Daniel Newsome: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The point: This class is basically a seminar on science in general and infectious diseases in particular. It is not Bio 101. We will learn some basic cell biology and genetics, but that is not the point. The point is to find an entry into science that is meaningful for each individual and that goal will require exploring a variety of topics. It is my hope that students of this class will come away with a better understanding of what science is, what science is not, how science works, and how it integrates with the rest of the world. The understanding of science takes place on many levels, from the most complicated mathematical formulae of General Relativity to the observation that rocks are more likely to fall down than up. Science is no good if nobody understands it. Good science allows a person to make better decisions. Bad science allows a person to rationalize bad decisions or hold beliefs based on personal biases, prejudices, or desires. The absence of science makes a person easy prey for tyrants or charlatans.
Science is now bigger than all of us. It has awesome power. Is it alive? Is it no longer subservient to human beings? Does it now serve its own propagation? Can it exist without us? If not, how does it need us? Is science an infection on the world? Is it a tool serving humanity at the expense of the world? Can we coexist with science? Is our future Star Trek or Terminator/Matrix/BSG? There isn't a chance in hell that we will answer any of these questions, but we'll give it a shot.
The nitty gritty:
This class is graded as "Satisfactory" or "Unsatisfactory."
Attendance is mandatory.
Homework is mandatory.
Participation is mandatory.
Failure to do these things will lead to "Unsatisfactory."
This class is your job for the next three weeks. I'm your boss. Let me know what's up in advance of any transgressions. Email me. We are in this together. It's going to be a lot of work, but I will do my best to make it fun and enlightening work.
Please email me or speak to me with your vocal chords if you have any suggestions as we progress through this material. I am keeping my options as open as I can so that I can incorporate new ideas quickly. This extremely agile maneuverability might make for a slightly bumpy ride and some abrupt about-faces, so get used to helping me out with good segues.