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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

In the News: Science Sound Bites

Instructor(s): Shannon Stitzel, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Science is everywhere in the media today, in the headlines of newspapers and magazines, on the evening news, and even featured in our art and entertainment. Now more that ever, we are inundated with different sources of scientific information, all of which subtly influence our personal and societal perspectives on issues of the day. But what is fact and what is media hype? In this seminar, students will examine four topics that have recently been in the news: global warming, alternative fuels, viral pandemics, and the exploration of Mars. We will explore these topics via pop culture (films), books, newspapers, magazines, and other sources, and examine how our perspectives on these issues shift or change during the process. We will discuss the political, societal, environmental , and ethical issues that arise from each topic and learn to express thoughtful opinions about them in writing.

Course Offered