Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.
What is Science? (BSC150)
|Organisational Unit||College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education|
|Availability||MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external, S2-internal, S2-external|
|Teaching Timetables||Murdoch S1
|Description||The challenges of the future require creative thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to solve complex social, health, technological and environmental problems. This unit will introduce you to the history and philosophy of Science and the interconnected nature of the scientific disciplines. It explores how scientific ways of thinking and knowing have emerged and how science informs and is framed by non-scientific ways of thinking and broader social agendas. Be prepared to challenge what is known/unknown in your discipline.|
|Unit Learning Outcomes||On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Identify the common features of scientific methods of inquiry and to contrast these with non-scientific methods of inquiry.
2. Critically evaluate the advantages and limitations of the scientific approach to knowledge.
3. Describe the major ideas developed within the philosophy of science, and recognise real life examples of these ideas being applied to actual scientific research
4. Identify some commonly used research methods in disciplines outside your home discipline.
5. Demonstrate an awareness of the different perspectives that can arise from different scientific disciplines, the reasons for these differing perspectives, and their possible consequences.
6. Discuss the role of science in society.
|Timetabled Learning Activities||Lectures: 1 hour per week; laboratories: 2 hours per week, commencing in week 2.|
|Unit Learning Experiences||A series of face to face lectures (also available online) will introduce you to the core concepts in the unit. The core concepts will be reinforced by a diverse series of workshops, in which you will explore practical examples of the philosophical concepts through media, drama, computer modelling, laboratory and other activities. More complex topics and interactions are developed by way of panel discussions, based on questions posed by the student body. Periodic reflection on the content and activities is a central part of your learning in this unit. You will further explore topics through reading material and audiovisual material that supports and develops the key areas.
There are required, assessable, supporting materials including online content (text and video) and a small unit textbook.
|Assessment||Lecture & workshop assessment (35%) In-class assessment and online quizzes promote engagement, content review, and comprehension.
Contribution to panel discussions (15%). Question submission encourages prior consideration of the topic before the panel, as well as an understanding of the diverse views of other students. The panel promotes understanding of different scientific disciplines and the role of science in society.
Reflective journal (20%). Weekly reflection on theoretical and practical activities, promotes integration and consolidation of philosophical concepts, reflection on similarities and differences between disciplines, and awareness of science's role in society.
Examination (30%). A sixty question multiple choice examination paper draws together material from the lectures, Q and A panel sessions, required supporting materials and lab activities.
|Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
|Internet Access Requirements||Murdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.|