Return to Nancy Lowry's home page
NS 110: Science and Popular Opinion: Myths of Science
Greetings and welcome to NS 110: Science and Popular Opinion: Myths of Science. In this course we will examine what "everyone knows" about a variety of scientifically related subjects, and compare this information with what is in the scientific literature.
Assigned reading will be listed on the course website; it is required to bring these readings to class. Additional readings will be placed on reserve in the Hampshire Library. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the reading. You are responsible for all material and announcements made in class, and extra handouts will be available outside NL's office on the south end of CSC.
Evaluations will be based on class attendance and participation, on-time completion of assigned work, participation in the class debate and class presentations, and completion of a self-evaluation.
Topics for NS 110:
Science and Popular Opinion: Myths of Science
Note: This is a general outline, not a syllabus!
See the course web site for the day to day syllabus and assignmnets.
|Monday Class||Wednesday/Friday Classes|
|Introductions and interests|
|Water Part I: Is drinking 8 8 ounce glasses of water daily REALLY necessary? How myths get started and how hard they are to change.||
Water Part II: Is it safe to reuse PET pop bottles for water? How poor data takes on a life of its own. Due: a one page essay on an aspect of water that is of interest to you.
|Chocolate, coffee and tea: Dogs and chocolate.||
Chocolate, coffee, tea and vanilla: Student presentations. Due: a three page paper related to your presentation.
|MSG||Introduction to herbal remedies|
|Library class: Researching the secondary and primary literature.Bring a card with the name of an herb you want to research||What's good/What¹s bad in the food/remedy/poison department|
| Poisons & medicines; toxicology:
||Student presentations. Bring a one page handout for the class (with references) on your herbal remedy.|
|Due: A five page paper on the effects and toxicity of an herbal drug. Use at least thee primary references.||
In-class preparation for the debate: : Should marijuana be legal for medical purposes?
Playing around in the lab; preparation for Day in the
|Cold remedies||The placebo effect|
|Chimps and herbal medicine: Ethnopharmacognosy||"Murder, Magic and Medicine" discussion|
|Hoaxes, hallucinogens and controversies: short takes - banana peels, nutmeg, morning glories, burnt food and cancer, peanut butter, chemical phobias, and more.||Discussion of final papers. Come prepared with ideas.|
|Roundtable on fish: What the nutritionists, ecologists, toxicologists, and environmentalists tell us about eating fish.||Fish continued.|
|Catch-up class. Final papers. What else would you like to ask?||In-class preparation for final presentations.|
|Presentations||Last class. Special topic and course appropriate food.
Due today: Final paper, self-evaluations.
Myths of Science; Spring 1999; Examples of final paper topics
|Does Chocolate Cause Migraines?||The Placebo Effect||Ritalinn|
|Malarial Treatments||Dogs As Healers||Ginger|
|Medical Use Of Marijuana||Music Therapy||Aromatherapy|
|Effect Of Tallness On Heart Health||Food's Effect On Mood||Strychnine|
|An Examination of Natural Cancer Preventatives||An Herbal Cancer Treatment||Ant Venom|
|The Exxon Valdez Spill, Ten Years Later||Effects Of Smoking On Young People||Datura Abuse|
|Does Feverfew Alleviate Migraines?||Lead Poisoning In Children||Ma Huang - Is It Safe?|
|Herbs Used In Modern Wiccan: What Do They Do?||Vegetarianism - Is It Safe For Children|
Professor Nancy Lowry, firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Natural Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002