More topics from a seminar in chemistry course in which they get to choose a
not hard science presentation.
1. General Topic: Science and Society
New York Times Science Section on Tuesdays, Washington Post, Science,
Nature, Scientific American, New Yorker, The Economist, Web:
Some example themes
Global Warming: What should be done if anything?
Sale of Human Organs: Should it be legal?
Partial Birth Abortion
Biodiversity and Endangered Species
Should we be trying to prevent species becoming extinct? If so, why?
Creationism vs Evolution: Should schools be allowed/required/encouraged to
teach creationism alongside
evolution as part of their science curriculum?
Emergency Contraception: Should the morning-after pill be banned?
Energy Crisis: Nuclear vs Renewable Sources
(Is nuclear power the best way to meet the ever-increasing energy needs of
the planet, are alternative energy sources provide a viable alternative?)
Gene Patenting. Should genes be patented?
Genetically Modified Food
Environmental, moral, or health issues associated with genetically modified
Should human cloning be banned ? Should reproductive human cloning always be
Is there life on Mars?
Mobile Telephones: Banning of Use in Cars
Should Physical Education in schools be compulsory?
Drug programs (DARE, etc) a good idea? Legalize recreational drugs?
Science: a Threat to Society?
On balance, does science have more potential for ³good² or ³bad²?
Space Exploration: a worthwhile investment?
Stem Cell Research / Therapeutic Cloning
Should medical research involving the use of human stem cells be permitted?
Vaccinations: Should they be legally compulsory?
Do cell phones cause brain cancer?
What factors determine sexual orientation (genetics?) Sexual identity?
Drugs for treatment of psychiatric health where to draw the line?
Meteors (should we be doing something about them)?
The ³hydrogen economy². Is it a hoax? What are the costs/benefits?
Crime: why have rates been falling over the past 20 years?
Terrorism: from the scientific perspective.
Reduced meat consumption: an essential requirement for sustainable
Chemical and Biological weapons
Intelligence Tests: valid or not?
SAT tests: valid or not?
Social Responsibility of Scientists, do we have any?
How does Corporate Funding affect Academic Freedom?
Various chemical disasters, e.g., Bopal, Exxon Valdez (Alaska), etc.
Advertising based on chemistry, valid or not?
Nanotechnology, what are we talking about?
Is class size important in learning?, how do you know?
On 4/10/08 3:30 PM, "Richard Levins" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Quick thoughts: what are real mutants like? How do birds know it is time to
> migrate? How far can ants see (or other beasts close to the ground)? How long
> do different kinds of things live? What do plants do in the dark? How can
> pathologists figure out how long someone was dead? What sicknesses do we share
> with other animals? Why are there occasional animals born with two heads?
> Asian cooking now uses hot peppers, tomatoes. But these are American plants.
> How come? Best wishes, Dick
> Richard Levins
>>>> Frank Rosenthal <[log in to unmask]> 4/10/2008 2:57 PM >>>
> Claudia -
> I have to run off to class. But some topics that come to have the students
> read, write, present and debate about.
> - New highly efficient vehicles for energy conservation
> - Maglev trains
> - time travel -- fact and fiction
> - physics of mass/individual transportation
> - physics and physiology of running/ bicycle riding
> - perpetual motion - does it work?
> Good Luck!
> Frank S. Rosenthal, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Occupational and Environmental
> Health Sciences
> Purdue University School of Health Sciences
> 550 Stadium Mall Dr.
> West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA
> tel: 765-494-0812, fax: 765-496-1377,
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> From: Science for the People Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Claudia Hemphill
> Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:08 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Request for ideas, lesson samples, etc. for teaching writing to
> at-risk students entering science majors
> Hi all,
> All of a sudden (yesterday) I've been invited to submit a proposed
> curriculum -- tomorrow afternoon! -- for teaching writing and other
> communication skills to students in my university's summer "Upward Bound
> Math/Science" program. A writing course syllabus is no problem - but for
> assignment topics and ideas that speak to the Math/Science (and Engineering)
> theme? I'd love your help, because the 3-week intensive course needs to
> link to:
> 2008 Theme "EXPLORE motion"
> This year's Upward Bound Math Science summer program will address the
> physics of motions, construction of vehicles or instruments that move, the
> changes of environmental elements in relation to place through movement over
> time, creation of maps depicting places and tracks of motion for
> environmental elements, organisms or humans.
> The theme is the guiding topic to correlate instruction for the participants
> and each course offered should contain an element of the theme.
> So, I'm looking for ideas or better yet, inspiring quotes, sample lesson
> plans, resource materials or syllabuses that will help me tie the writing to
> these students' physics (and other science) learning. I've taught a ton of
> writing skills, especially technical and science writing, to students in the
> contexts of environmental science, ethics, film studies, anthropology, and
> human biology... but I'm eager for ideas on how to tie into physics and
> engineering of motion.
> I want to use Thomas Georges' free online "Analytical Writing for Science
> and Technology" as the main "textbook", because it's fun, short, and focuses
> not on write as a science student, but in the real world, in science or
> engineering jobs. What I need are sample syllabuses and or lesson plans and
> concepts that could focus directly on this "Science of Motion" theme.
> These will be mainly Native American and Hispanic high school juniors and
> seniors whose families are classed as low-income and non-traditional (no one
> with a college degree). Upward Bound is a longtime (ca. 35 years) U.S. Dept
> of Ed funded program to help get them into college and equipped to stay in,
> and succeed.
> The time frame is nuts, and I'm going to be up late sandwiching this in
> between other jobs -- but I'd LOVE to get this job. I not only need summer
> work to keep finishing my diss, these are exactly the students I love to
> teach, the ones our capitalist and class-structured system would happily
> write off. A great SftP opportunity, if I can get past the Education
> Bureaucrats at the gate...
> Any ideas? Examples? Links? Emailing me off-list is fine!