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Unit information: Big Ideas in Science in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Big Ideas in Science
Unit code CHEM10001
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Wyatt
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

This unit provides a broad introduction to some of the fundamental ideas in science. It looks at the original ideas and concepts behind the discipline, the history and the people involved behind the main discoveries and /inventions. The implications or consequences of the scientific method? are explored as well as philosophical and ethical issues and the way different important approaches have built upon each other or interconnected. The remaining answered questions and ongoing research into fundamental issues, with a particular focus on research ongoing at the University will also be covered.

Aims The unit aims to provide an insight into some of the most significant scientific concepts and explore how these ideas have changed the way we think about the world. It aims to encourage students to be critical about the ideas presented – to think for themselves and discuss between themselves the scientific implications and ethical questions. The topics cover a broad range and draw upon expertise from across the entire Faculty of Science.

More specifically, the unit aims to introduce broad scientific ideas which may include such topics as – quantisation, imaginary numbers, climate change, relativity, symmetry and evolution.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of fundamental scientific ideas.
  • An ability to talk about scientific ideas to others.
  • An understanding of the wider implications of scientific principles – to other disciplines and society.
  • An appreciation of the different sorts of scientific research that can be undertaken.
  • An appreciation for the different ways that a problem may be approached.
  • Knowledge of the concept of ‘uncertainty’ and how this pervades science and any measurement.
  • Experience in considering the philosophical and ethical implications of research.

Teaching details

Lectures, discussion group workshops (classes of 10 students)

Assessment Details

Students will be assessed by coursework throughout the year (100%). Coursework will be centred around the discussion workshops. There is no examination for this unit.

To receive credit for this unit, students must make a reasonable attempt at every aspect of the teaching and assessment. Participation in the discussion workshops is an essential way of achieving and demonstrating the intended learning outcomes for the unit, and students must therefore also engage in these groups. Failure to do so may result in credit being withheld, even if the overall mark is above the pass mark for the unit. Supplementary or resit assessment of this unit is only possible through engagement in the following academic year.

Reading and References

To follow

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