More topics from a seminar in chemistry course in which they get to choose a
not hard science presentation.

Larry Romsted

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
€ Human Cloning
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?Š) 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
€ Human natureŠŠ.
€  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
> ***************************************
> 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
> Pine
> 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!
> Thanks,
> Claudia