Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

All Majors & Minors

Courses

The CSCG supports the development of new courses on the intersection of science and society and the communication of science to the public.

Courses developed with support from the CSCG since its inception in 2012:

POL-399. Science and the Common Good
Dr. Stern

This is the core course for the fellows of the Center for Science and the Common Good.  It examines the philosophic bases and critique of modern science through the works of such authors as Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.  The course also considers the ethical, political, and religious implications of contemporary developments in science such as advancements in genetic and information technologies.

IDS/MCS-256. Decoding Science
Dr. Edwards, Dr. Winegar

This course teaches students the art of critically reading primary research articles and translating them into news articles, policy papers and advocacy pieces for non-science audiences. Three hours per week. Four semester hours

POL-354. Global Health
Dr. Evans

This course considers contrasting views on health as a human right and explores how social, economic and political forces influence who gets sick, what diseases afflict them, which treatments are available to them, and what the outcome of those treatments are. It examines a number of global health problems, including malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, polio, global obesity and global hunger as well as mental health. The roles of global public health organizations and private foundations are also studied. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, G.)

BIO-350. Safeguarding the American Food Supply       
Dr. Lobo

Protecting the public from health hazards posed by food requires constant and coordinated effort by governments, industry and the food consumers themselves.  Food-borne threats include infectious agents carried by food as well as unwholesome components of food.  This course will focus on three main themes.  First, we will consider food-borne microbial threats to public health, and discuss topics like pathogen detection and microbial hazards faced by the food industry, among others.  A second related topic will be industrial-scale animal production, including a discussion of the role of antibiotic use for livestock production in the global antibiotic-resistance crisis.  Our third main theme will be non-infectious quality concerns with domestic and imported foods, covering topics like adulteration and mislabeling of foods and food additives.  The course will also prepare students for key roles in hosting and participating in a conference sponsored by Ursinus College and the Institute on Science for Global Policy to take place on campus on April 10-11, 2015.  This course fulfills the Integrative distribution requirement for biology majors.  In addition to the scheduled class meetings, students must also attend arranged meetings outside of class, including the conference dates of April 10-12, 2015.  Four credit hours, no laboratory.

BIO-350. Pandemics and Preparedness
Dr. Lobo

Pandemics – the worldwide spread of infectious diseases – have claimed millions of lives just in the last century, let alone over the course of recorded history.  Even today, pandemic infectious diseases like influenza, SARS, and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis threaten the health and lives of people around the globe. The microbes that cause them – the pathogens – are an airline flight away from almost any spot on the planet.  Are we ready for the next outbreak?  This course will examine the pathogens responsible for pandemic diseases, the methods that epidemiologists use to track their spread, and the social, economic, political and other civic influences that shape our current state of preparedness against outbreaks of diseases we may not even have a name for yet.  The course will also prepare students for key roles in hosting and participating in a conference sponsored by Ursinus College and the Institute on Science for Global Policy to take place on campus on April 11-12, 2014  This course fulfills the Integrative distribution requirement for biology majors.  Four credit hours, no laboratory, but in addition to the scheduled class meetings, students must also attend arranged meetings outside of class, including the conference dates of April 11-12, 2014.