Science and Society
Sci 10: An Integrated Course on the Natural Sciences for Non-Science Majors
Instructors: Schedule: MWF 2:30-3:30 p.m. SEC-C201A
Tony Basilio (firstname.lastname@example.org) Credits: 3 units
Ted Limpoco (email@example.com) Pre-requisites: NatSci courses
The 20th century witnessed giant leaps in science and technology. Quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of relativity completely overhauled our ideas about matter and energy, and of time and space. The discovery of the gene-protein link and the unraveling of the genetic code gave man the power to manipulate the very make-up of living organisms, including his own. And, for the first time in history, human technological activity on the mass scale has the potential to alter the face of the planet.
"Science and Society" (Sci 10) is the terminal course in the natural science core curriculum at the Ateneo de Manila University. It aims to situate and synthesize the student’s previous science courses within the backdrop of these contemporary scientific concerns and discourses. The scope of topics range from age-old human questions about origins, to more current issues in biotechnology, the environment, and sustainable development.
The approach is interdisciplinary and shall touch on concepts from the various sciences including physics, biology, chemistry, and earth and environmental science, as well as their sub-disciplines such as cosmology, material science, and molecular biology. The course shall consist of lectures and special seminars, readings, discussions, and written and oral papers.
Many issues we face today are scientific and technological in nature. The aim of this course is to help non-science students understand some of these issues and to form their own relevant response.
By the end of the course, the student is expected to: (a) understand the nature of scientific practice and discourse that is common to the different disciplines of the natural sciences; (b) recognize and articulate the underlying paradigms in modern science (e.g., quantum theory, relativity, standard model of particle physics, central dogma of molecular biology, climate change), at least in qualitative terms; (c) deploy these concepts from modern science in thinking critically about contemporary social and environmental issues that are scientific and technological in nature; (d) formulate relevant responses that take into account both scientific and non-scientific aspects of these issues.
MAC Cuyegkeng, ed, Stellar Origins, Human Ways: Readings in Science, Technology, and Society (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2011)
Classroom policies, course requirements, grading system
The practice of Science
Paper 1 (Dec 2)
Science and the scientific method, technology and national development, intellectual property rights
Technology and Lifestyle
Plenary Lecture 1: Technology and Lifestyle (Dec 9)
Plenary Lecture 2: Innovation (Jan 6)
Midterm (Jan 16)
Telecommunications, nanotechnology, packaging, smoking, the modern diet, biotechnology
Environment and Sustainable Development
Plenary Lecture 3: Environment (Jan 20)
Plenary Lecture 4: Climate Change & Governance (Jan 27)
Paper 2 (Feb 13)
The state of the environment, biodiversity, solid waste management, climate change, sustainable development
Origins of Life
Plenary Lecture 5: Origins of Life (Feb 15)
Origin of the Universe
Plenary Lecture 6: Origins of the Universe (Feb 24)
Film Showing: Stephen Hawking’s Universe Part 1 (Feb 29)
Film Showing: Stephen Hawking’s Universe Part 2 (Mar 2)
Life and its origins, cosmology and the origins of the universe
Summary and synthesis
By appointment only. Please call or email in advance.
Tony Basilio: 09164254549
Ted Limpoco: firstname.lastname@example.org
Requirements and Grading System
The final grade is the weighted QPI average of the following:
The Practice of Science
Technology & Lifestyle
Environment & Sustainable Development
...based upon the following scale:
Essays and oral presentations are graded according to the following general criteria:
Understands the material; analyzes it from various perspectives, including on the personal level; offers additional/original insights; presents the material within a clear, coherent, and integrated framework.
Understands the class material; analyzes it from various perspectives, including on the personal level; presents the material in a clear, organized, coherent, and creative way.
Understands the facts and key points of the class material, and dialogs with it on a personal level; presents it clearly and coherently.
Can reiterate the key points from the class material clearly and coherently.