Bootcamp Syllabus

G-RISE Summer 2020 Bootcamp Science and Society


The Scientific Revolution (16th & 17th century) was ushered in by such historical figures as Nicolaus Copernicus (born 1473), Isaac Newton (born 1642) and Galileo Galilei (born 1564), who developed the scientific method that is still used today. The scientific method involves developing a hypothesis, making predictions based on that hypothesis, executing experiments that are well-controlled in order to make measurable observations, analyzing the results of those experiments in order to confirm or reject the original hypothesis, followed by further experimentation to continue the progression of knowledge.


Prior to the Scientific Revolution, the term ‘science’ was not used; instead, the pursuit of the fundamental knowledge of the physical world was considered natural philosophy. The transition of science from natural philosophy to empirically derived facts sometimes came into conflict with the religious philosophy of the day (e.g. Galileo was famously condemned by the Catholic Church for his belief that the Earth revolves around the sun).


Medical science and research took much longer to catch up with the physical sciences. For example, while Fahrenheit based the high point of his thermometer on the temperature of the human body in 1724, it wasn’t until ~120 years later that thermometers were used in medical practice. In fact, most maladies were attributed to a misalignment in bodily humours until the late 19th century, when sanitation and public health as an empirical science first started to be developed.


In this 10-session intensive course, we will discuss the interplay of science and society, explore misconceptions of scientific practice, and discuss how the perception of science may change in the future.


Class meetings will be held via Zoom every weekday between Aug. 10th, 2020 and Aug. 21st, 2020 from 10am to 11:30am. Click ZOOM LINK HERE Passcode: Science


Presentations and discussions will be led by Dr. Francine Katz (" rel="nofollow">  ). Additional sessions will be scheduled for mentor presentations in the following weeks during the regular fall semester.




Summer 2020 Syllabus


8/10/2020      Meet and Greet: Video tours of labs; Program Orientation


8/11/2020      Watch before class and then discuss: Naturally Obsessed: The Making of A Scientist


8/12/2020      Ignorance -- How it Drives Science: Part 1


8/13/2020      Ignorance -- How it Drives Science: Part 2


8/14/2020      No class meeting


8/17/2020      Emerging information in nutrition: MSG, saccharin, Red Food dye #40, salt, eggs


8/18/2020      Emerging information in a pandemic: press conferences, scientific conferences


8/19/2020      Setting the wrong standards: The case of the number of chromosomes


8/20/2020      Science by serendipity: Penicillin, LSD, nerve agents


8/21/2020      Convalescent Plasma and COVID-19: discussion of a presentation by Dr.

                      Arturo Casadevall (Johns Hopkins U.)