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CBS Freshman Seminars

There is still space available in CBS freshman seminars!

Biol 1905 Freshman Seminar for the Biological Sciences: Critical Thinking and Weird Thinking in Science
Description:  This course will encourage students to develop critical thinking skills as they begin their careers as scientists. As a student, you need only to be curious, creative, and willing to learn some new ways of looking at the physical and natural world around you. The class will involve some readings, some simple writing assignments and many discussions over a wide range of topics. Some topics will be biological in nature but we will look at some crazy and wild concepts such as UFOs, homeopathic medicine, chiropractic logical fallacies, cryptozoology, para-normality, supernaturalism, the placebo effect, and other pseudoscience topics as they might arise. Students will be required to give a short (but easy) presentation to the class.

Biol 1905 Freshman Seminar for the Biological Sciences: Genomics: Applications in Biomed Sci and Biotech
Description:  DNA and Genomes ? they are discussed in just about every modern context, from modern medical science and biotechnology to crime scene investigations, law, medical insurance policies, and ethics of retooling animal and plant genomes. In this seminar we will consider interfaces between science, politics, religion and the press. The topic will begin with some of the recent findings of science and medicine and then consider some ramifications that you will encounter in your daily lives as genomics plays a larger role as applications develop. Students and visitors will discuss a variety of topics including bioethics, genetic counseling, CSI in Minnesota, and a state legislator, as well as DNA profiling in medicine, the future of retooling of plant and animal genomes, and human evolution in the future. We will try to develop personal strategies that will allow us to evaluate controversies pertaining to recent findings and applications of DNA technologies.