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MPhys Physics with Astrophysics / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Science & the Modern World
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
What is science? And why does science have such authority in our society and culture? You don’t have to be Einstein to find an answer!
This unit explores the place of science in human affairs using examples from 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.
This unit explores the place of science in human affairs using examples from 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 the sciences in modern culture
Analyse different ways of thinking about the sciences within contemporary society, including the views of non-scientific audiences and issues around authority and trust
Defend well-argued contributions to interdisciplinary group debates
Prepare a well-argued and evidence-based written report
In addition, for 20 credits:
Research and write a literature-based review, integrating scientific, historical and social viewpoints
Teaching and learning methods
|Written assignment (inc essay)||50%|
Students are encouraged to ask questions at any time during lectures and seminars. Teaching staff answers queries in the class and also by email or during office hours (contact details in the course handbook or at lectures). All submitted coursework will be returned with annotations and comments explaining the rationale for the marks given.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Robert Naylor||Unit coordinator|