SCIENCE FOR NON-SCIENTISTS
This class in "science literacy" is designed especially for non-technical employees of high-tech companies and laboratories. The class focuses on the key concepts of science and technology throughout history, and, whenever appropriate, how they are reflected in the work of the particular employer.
Class includes lecture, discussion, demonstration, hands-on measurement, observational exercises, problem solving, and experimentation.
OBJECTIVE: to prepare and motivate participants to meet the criteria for science literacy established by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in its report PROJECT 2061 -- Science for All Americans. In summary, these criteria are:
CLASS TOPICS: The following are general subjects covered. Specific topics for each class vary according to the needs of the participants.
1. Science and technology as human enterprises.
Models of reality; common themes that cross boundaries between science and non-science; how revolutions in science parallel revolutions in philosophy and in our understanding of ourselves and our society.
2. Key concepts and principles of science.
Emphasis on physical science: the four force model of physical phenomena, nuclear physics and chemistry, physical aspects of radioactivity.
3. Familiarity with the natural world.
Episodes of surpassing significance in science, through people such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Curie, Meitner.
4. Scientific habits of mind.
Critical thinking; measurement and manipulation; values and attitudes towards technology.