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How Do We Know? - Theory and Practice of Science

1st Term
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Academic Year
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year

Introduction to Online Learning

Do you love to "think science"? Would you enjoy looking at scientific questions through an unusual lens? Do you find stories about scientific discoveries fascinating, and would you like to learn more about what they mean to our scientific practice? Then this course is for you!
Examines the nature and philosophical foundations of science using an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes critical thinking and storytelling; discusses the principles of good scientific practice – rigor, reproducibility and responsibility (the 3R's) - by exploring revolutionary discoveries in the life, public health and natural sciences; elaborates the relationship between theory, practice and serendipity in scientific discovery, and concludes with a discussion of the role of scientists in society.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Analyze the notions of "science", "knowledge", "paradigm" and "truth"
  2. Appraise the impact of revolutionary discoveries on the evolution of scientific knowledge and beliefs
  3. Employ the norms of science – rigor, responsibility and reproducibility (the 3 “R’s”) - in scientific practice
  4. Demonstrate understanding of scientific core concepts and methods through effective communication with peer and lay audiences
  5. Evaluate the role of scientists in society
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 30% Participation in discussions and peer feedback
  • 30% Reflection
  • 40% Final Presentation