Science in American Culture

timer Asked: Nov 9th, 2016

Question description

NOTE: No other media choices can be used

The most important reason to take a science course in college is to learn about general science topics that will be a part of the news you read, the votes you are asked to make, and the decisions you will face related to your personal and family health care. Science is all around us, and is even pervasive in our American pop culture: movies, books, video games, etc. Select one of the science based pop culture examples listed below. Watch or read, and then locate a current (two years old, or less) science article that relates to the topic discussed in your novel/movie. You will write a 3 page discussion that summarizes the major points of your chosen media, discusses the article you chose, explains the connection between the article and your media selection, and explains the relevance of this topic to modern-day American citizens. Media choices:  Jurassic Park (novel, author Michael Crichton)  The Cobra Event (novel, author Richard Preston)  My Sister’s Keeper (novel, Jodi Piccoult)  Unwind (novel, Neal Shusterman)  GATTACA (movie, release date: 1997)  Avatar (movie, release date: 2009)  The Island (movie, release date: 2005) NOTE: No other media choices can be used.
Lecture #2: Scientific Methods How Science Happens Science is about observing the world around us and trying to ascertain how things in that world work, function, interact and change  In formal scientific study, we often utilize several distinct steps, called the scientific method  The Scientific Method is… Observe & identify a problem or issue to be studied  Research your problem  Develop a hypothesis (educated guess)  Design & run an experiment  Collect data & results from the experiment  Use your data to develop a conclusion  Identify a topic of study Scientific thinkers always question the world around them  They want to know more about how things work and have an insatiable curiosity  Identifying a topic or question to study is your first step… what interests you? What do you want to know about it?  Researching to develop a hypothesis A hypothesis is an educated guess, and you have to be educated about your topic in order to make one  How do we establish a hypothesis?  Designing An Experiment  What are the characteristics of a good scientific experiment? Obtaining & Recording Data During the course of an experiment, data should be obtained and recorded.  The types of data one expects to obtain will vary based on the experiment  Data should always be recorded with units (in science, metric is preferred, but many Americans understand English units best)  Methods of Recording Data T-chart Data Table Methods of Displaying Data Drawing conclusions Once you have obtained and displayed your data, you have to interpret the data in order to draw conclusion, or answers, from it  Sometimes your data may not answer the question adequately– in which case you develop a new hypothesis and try again  Sometimes the data reveals all new questions to be studied  Communication Between Scientists Scientists should always strive to communicate new information with their peers  Some science topics are being studied by numerous researches, and new information is being built off of old studies  Non- and Pseudo-Science Sometimes certain groups will attempt to give information under the guise of science, that doesn’t meet the requirements of science  We call this pseudo- or non-science  Always think critically about any “new science” or “new studies” that are released in order to ensure that they are real science  How Can You Identify Real Science?  Real science is – Consistent – Observeable – Natural – Predictable – Testable – Tentative Peer Reviewed Real scientists always seek to have their peers review their work  They consider it to be beneficial to have others examine, question, and even disagree with their work  By sharing and talking about their work, scientists seek to improve it and build upon their initial ideas  Where does non-science appear? Non-science or pseudo-science can appear in courtrooms or in the news  Many a jury has been swayed by “expert testimony” without recognizing the faults in the “pseudo-science” that was being presented as scientific fact  Morale: The more you understand basic science concepts– the better off you are!!  When does a hypothesis become a theory? A topic in science becomes a theory when enough evidence has been consistently compiled to support a single valid hypothesis  A hypothesis cannot become a theory without repetitive testing– hence why scientists need to take careful notes and communicate with other scientists.  Some Examples of Theory  Some good examples of modern scientific theory include: – Atomic Theory – Germ Theory of Disease – Plate Tectonics – Theory of Evolution (Change Over Time) Anecdotes Don’t Count Anecdotes are singular experiences of individuals and do not count as scientific unless they are tested and confirmed via scientific process  Anecdotes can include home remedies and personal opinions or experiences of a nonscience nature  Ex: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”  Questions?

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