Students explore a number of biology topics that are frequently discussed in the media. We begin with an investigation into how to evaluate scientific claims reported in written (e.g. news articles, blogs, social media posts), visual (e.g. YouTube videos, Instagram posts) and audio media (e.g. podcasts). We then explore the topics of genetic modification, GMOs, cloning, and direct-to-consumer home DNA testing kits. Finally, we investigate medical topics including cancer, vaccines and antibiotic resistance. We emphasize critical thinking and reasoning as it applies to acceptance or rejection of scientific claims presented in popular media formats. This course is intended for students not majoring in biology and who would like to learn more about scientific topics portrayed in the media as controversial and under debate.
Course Attributes: FA NSM; BU SCI; AR NSM; AS NSM