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LibrlSt 901: Seminar on Philosophical Approaches to Science
Janis T. Eells, Associate Professor, Clinical Lab Sciences
jells@uwm.edu / 414.229.5405

Philosophical Approaches to Health Sciences

Course description:
The purpose of this seminar is to discuss the nature of the health sciences and their relationships to other disciplines. We will discuss the history of science from Galileo and his conflicts with the church to Einstein and his statement that "God does not play dice with the universe." Additional aspects of this course will include discussions on women and minorities in science, and such contemporary issues as stem cell research and gene therapy, research integrity and ethics. Selected faculty in the health sciences will discuss their career paths and current research interests.

A little about my philosophy of teaching:
I am a passionate advocate for science education and science literacy. Both of these are essential to our intellectual growth, our economic growth, and our future. I have been involved in science education at all levels, ranging from teaching the basics of vision to grade and middle school classes to discussing the evolution of science and scientific ethics with graduate students. I pride myself on the ability to explain complicated biological and biochemical concepts in a manner that is understandable and relevant to students with diverse academic backgrounds. My teaching style is extremely informal and interactive.

Some of the topics to be discussed:

  1. Culture and Science
    The origin of science and its relationship to other disciplines
  2. The History of Science I
    Science vs Religion (Copernicus, Bacon, Kepler, Galileo)
    The Ascendancy of Science (Newton, Kant, Comte)
  3. The History of Science II
    The Revolutionary 20th Century (Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend)
    Science and the Post-Modern World (Einstein)
  4. Women and Minorities in Science
    400 years of women in science
    Science as a gendered endeavor, changes and continuities
  5. Contemporary Issues in Science I
    Bioengineering; Gene Therapy; Stem Cell Research
  6. Contemporary Issues in Science II
    Universal Health Care
    Evolution and Creationism
  7. Research Integrity and Responsible Research Conduct
    Historical consideration of research conduct
    Impact of government regulation on research
  8. Funding Sources and Their Impact on Research
    Historical Consideration of Politics and Funding for Science
    Funding Agencies in the 21st Century
  9. Research in the Basic and Clinical Sciences
    Faculty presentations on individual paths in science/research interests
  10. Bridging Research to Practice
    Evidence Based Practice; Outcomes Research
    Measurement Issues Related to Scientific Discovery

Texts:
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (Broadway Books, 2003)
J.A. Cover and Martin Curd, Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues (2004)

Tuesday, 5:30-8:10pm
Enderis Hall B72