BSc Biochemistry / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Science & the Modern World

Course unit fact file
Unit code HSTM10221
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

What is science? And why does science have such authority in our society and culture? You don’t have to be Einstein to find the answers!

This unit explores the place of science in human affairs using examples from the past and present. It uses non- specialist vocabulary to help us understand why we trust scientists and where that reliance comes from historically. It also invites you to reflect critically on the methods scientific experts use and the influence they exercise in the modern world.

Through a variety of case studies showing scientists at work, this unit analyses their ambitions, successes and the controversies that their research created. A variety of resources, from scientists’ writings to literature and film, will be used to introduce humanities and science students to different ways of understanding science in the past and the present.

 

Aims

This unit explores the place of science in human affairs using examples from the past and present. It uses non-specialist vocabulary to help us understand why we trust scientists and where that reliance comes from historically. It also invites you to reflect critically on the methods scientific experts use and the influence they exercise in the modern world.

On completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Describe the range and complexity of the modern sciences in the context of their historical development
  • Describe the role of sciences in modern culture
  • Analyse different ways of thinking about science in contemporary society, including the views of non-scientific audiences and issues around authority and trust
  • Defend well-argues contributions to interdisciplinary group debates
  • Prepare well-argues and evidence based written reports

In addition, 20-credit students will be able to:

  • Research and write a literature-based review, integrating scientific, historical and social viewpoints

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Report 50%

Feedback methods

Students are encouraged to ask questions at any point during lectures and seminars. Teaching staff will answer queries in class and also over email. Comments will be provided on work you've prepared during writing sessions throughout the semester in order to help you prepare for the submission of assignments. All submitted coursework will be returned with annotations and comments providing a rationale for the mark given.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Naylor Unit coordinator

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