EGMT 1520: You Were Born A Scientist

Each of you did science experiments when you were a kid. You played with bugs and lizards, you stayed up late peering through telescopes, you asked questions about how the world worked, and you were good at it. You were a scientist and you conducted empirical studies. But somewhere along the way, many of you experienced events that lead you to believe you weren’t actually a scientist, or couldn’t be one, or that science could only be done by certain people who looked a certain way. This course calls BS on that brainwashing. You may view scientists as individuals who have a tackled a daunting discipline that requires specific content knowledge and extensive training. However, I encourage you to see science and scientists not as a class in school or mythical strangers who wear lab coats, but instead as a language, a rich culture, and a unique lens through which to see and experience the world. A way of placing yourself on our planet, as a user of ever-evolving technology, and as an empowered individual making informed decisions. I want you to view science as a way through which you can exert your individual autonomy and make informed decisions for yourself, your family, and your community. In this course, I will re-expose you to the process of science and empirical evidence, help you hone your critical thinking skills, share tips on how to discern between science and pseudoscience, teach you the fundamentals of speaking “science speak” (or at least how to understand it!), give pointers on how to critically evaluate scientific communication in the media, and hopefully empower you to be scientifically literate and help others in your community achieve the same. At the end of the day, I want you to find that scientist within you and begin to view and interact with the world like you did as child.