NS304 Science, Technology, and Society

for S1F 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


NS 304 Science, Technology, and Society


S1F 2008 MY


Espinal, Jack L.


Senior Instructor  


MS Management
BS Chemistry

Office Location

Ft Meyr

Office Hours

By appointmernt

Daytime Phone

703 607 7864

Other Phone

703 534 7484  Weekends: 757 229 3540





Semester Dates

7 Jan - 9 Mar 2008

Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 10:00 PM



Credit Hours


Sagan, Carl  The Demon-Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark.  Random House, 1995

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Feynman Richard P. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.  Perseus Books, 1999
Nickell, Joe. The Outer Edge.  CSICOP, 1996
Ronan, Colin.  Science Explained.  Henry Holt and Company, 1993
Hawking, Stephen W.  A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books, 1988
Terzian Yervant.  Carl Sagan’s Universe.  Cambridge University Press 1997
Filkin, David.  Stephen Hawking’s Universe - The Cosmos Explained. Harper Collins, 1997
Resources for Independent Thinking - http://www.rit.org/
CSICOP / Skeptical Inquirer - http://www.csicop.org/si/
The Sagan Society - http://www.uga.edu/~dogsbody/

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
Relationship between science, technology,and society. Topics include: the two cultures, the relationship between basic science and technology, the effects of technology upon society, and possible future technologies. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor’s educational philosophy based on student interactions using discussions, readings, lab experiments, observations, quizzes, examinations, video, internet-mail exchange and writings.  The instructor will engage each learner in the lively exploration of science and the scientific method, discussions of readings, oral reports/presentations; field trips; videos, and other media that may be deemed appropriate and available.  Collaborative learning techniques will be used to analyze and solve problems in small groups. This course presents basic principles of Sciences they relate to everyday experiences.  It will help prepare you to make decisions about important environmental, social, and ethical issues that face our society and our small planet.  You will learn to use the scientific method in gathering information needed to make those decisions.  Together, we will explore the world around us using science as a tool for understanding.  Astrology, alien life, fortune telling, visions, and extrasensory perception will be examined from a scientific perspective. The mutual interaction of science and society will be stressed throughout the course. This will provide students with skills needed to extract scientific truth form the world around them and make informed decisions.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain concepts of how and why science works and the many ways that science and technology affect our lives.
  2. Define and explain the processes of science and scientific inquiry.
  3. Discuss and illustrate relevant impacts of science and technology on individual lives, professions, and the global society.
  4. Demonstrate the analytical and critical thinking skills essential to making informed judgments and informed choices regarding science and technology.
  5. Analyze and determine statements that are based on science versus those that are not.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate how observation and perception impacts science and scientists
  2. 4. Explain the contributions of Nicholas Tesla to modern technology.  List his inventions that are still in use today
  3. 5. Students will be able to evaluate evidence of UFOs and alien abductions. They will understand the concept of extraordinary evidence being required for extraordinary claims.
  4. 6. Students will be able to explain the issues surrounding diseases like hoof and mouth, anthrax, and mad cow disease on society.
  5. 8. Students will be able to explain the science behind electricity, light, and radiation. They will be able to apply these principles to analyze problems facing society.
  6. 9. Students will be able to explain how psychics and magicians track their audiences.
  7. 14. Students will demonstrate principles of observation when performing simple science experiments.
  8. 15. Students will be able to make a ten minute presentation that provides a biography and the contributions to science for an assigned scientist.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Assessment of learning will be determined by using the following:
1.   Film Assessment: Students will review 6 science related, in-class Video Tapes/DVDs shown in class using a study group format.
2.   Quizzes: Both announced and unannounced quizzes on material will be administered.
3.   Mid-term and Final Exams: Students will complete two examinations.

4.   Research Project and Presentations: A topic is to be chosen, research material gathered, and a paper formulated. Research material should be information gathered from, but not limited to, academic journals. Popular magazines should not be included. A minimum of 3 academic references must be used and cited. Select a topic from those provided on the first day of class.


The final course grade will be determined by the following measurements:
. Film Assessment 20 percent
Quizzes 20 percent
3. Midterm 15 percent
4. Final Examination 20 percent
4. Research Project and Presentation 10 percent
5. Field Trip and Presentation 15 percent

Final course grading scale:
93-100 % = A
83-92 %  = B
73-82 %  = C
63-72 %  = D
62 % and below or more than 15 hours of course time missed) = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

If an assignment is due on a night that the student is not present, it is the student's responsibility to get the assignment to the instructor on the due date. Assignments will not be accepted after three dates of the due date without prior approval from the instructor.  Video Tapes and DVDs show in class cannot be made-up.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

If an assignment is due on a night that the student is not present, it is the student's responsibility to get the assignment to the instructor on the due date. Assignments will not be accepted after three dates of the due date without prior approval from the instructor.  Video Tapes and DVDs shown in class cannot be made-up.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Class Meeting Schedule



Exams and Assignments Due

Meeting 1
8 Jan

1- The most Precious Thing
2-Science and Hope

Scientific Method & Technology
Science and Hope
The Four Disciplines
Video – Best Mind Since Einstein


Video Review

Meeting 2
15 Jan

3-The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars

Observation and Perception
Science of Physics
Alien Life
Video: Tesla, and the Master of the Universe

Video Review

Presentation Topics Due

Meeting 3
22 Jan

5-Spoofing and Secrecy
7-The Demon-Haunted World

UFOs & Alien Abductions
Science of Chemistry
Research Topic Due
Video:  The Brain Eaters

Video Review

Meeting 4
29 Jan

10-The Dragon in My Garage
12-The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

Health and Medical Charlatans
The Science of Biology
Video:  The Web of Life


Video Review

Meeting 5
5 Feb

15- Newton’s Sleep

Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence Program (SETI)
Detecting Scientific Fraud
Science & the Media
Perceptions, Presentations
Video:  Life Beyond Earth

Mid Term

Meeting 6
12 Feb

16-When Scientists Know Sin
17-The Marriage of Skepticism and Wonder
18-The Wind Makes Dust

Skepticism and Wonder
Astrology and Astronomy
Video:  The World Within

Video Review

Meeting 7
19 Feb

24-Science and Witchcraft
25-Real Patriots Ask Questions

Science & Witchcraft Science Education
Earth Science
Video: Secrets of the Psychics


Video Review

Meeting 8
23 Feb

No Reading Assignment

Smithsonian Field Trip
10:00AM - 3:00 PM
(Replaces class on 4 March 2008

National Air and Space Museum

Meeting 9
26 Feb

All previous References


Video Review
Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:12/9/2007 10:56:24 AM