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1 - 7 of 7 results for: THINK

THINK 23: The Cancer Problem: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

How has our approach to cancer been affected by clinical observations, scientific discoveries, social norms, politics, and economic interests? Approximately one in three Americans will develop invasive cancer during their lifetime; one in five Americans will die as a result of this disease. This course will expose you to multiple ways of approaching the cancer problem, including laboratory research, clinical trials, population studies, public health interventions, and health care economics. We will start with the 18th century discovery of the relationship between coal tar and cancer, and trace the role of scientific research in revealing the genetic basis of cancer. We will then discuss the development of new treatments for cancer as well as measures to screen for and prevent cancer, including the ongoing debate over tobacco control. Using cancer as a case study, you will learn important aspects of the scientific method including experimental design, data analysis, and the difference between correlation and causation. You will learn how science can be used and misused with regard to the public good. You will also learn about ways in which social, political, and economic forces shape our knowledge about and response to disease.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 45: Thinking About the Universe: What do we know? How do we know it?

What is the origin and ultimate fate of the universe? Can we know what came before the universe? Are there ultimate limits to human knowledge about the universe and are we reaching them? Cosmology (the study of the universe) raises profound questions about us, our place in the universe, and about the limits of our knowledge. It was only in the 20th century that cosmology developed from metaphysical and theological speculation to become an observational science and a recognized part of physics. In this course, students will explore questions about the Universe, its beginnings, its structure, its extent, its fate, from several perspectives - philosophical, experimental, and theoretical. We will discuss current research and the ongoing debates about the laws of nature on subatomic scales and the perplexing questions they raise regarding the universe and the limits of scientific inquiry.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 47: Inventing Government: Ancient and Modern

How might the study of the successes and failures of democratic and republican government in ancient Greece and Rome help us to fix what is broken in our own political systems? Democracy and republic are ancient names for revolutionary approaches to government of, by, and for citizens. Today, almost every state proclaims itself to be a democracy, a republic -- or both. Democratic and republican revolutions transformed ancient Greece and Rome - and later transformed the modern world. We explore how political thinkers, from Machiavelli to Madison and Mill, used the lessons of ancient politics to design bold new systems of government. Ancient politics may still hold lessons for us. We analyze what is broken in modern government (corruption, polarization, gridlock), how it broke, and how the tool kit of ancient political history might help us to analyze and repair the damage.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 48: Reading the Body: How Medicine and Culture Define the Self

How have our perceptions of what is considered normal/abnormal; beautiful/ugly; infected/uninfected changed over time? How do these changing medical and cultural representations of the body reflect larger societal shifts? How does illness change our perceptions of our bodies and our identities? Viewed through the lens of medicine, the body is a text that offers clues to health and illness, yet clinical readings are never entirely objective. Culture informs and distorts how we discern, accept, reject, and analyze our bodies. Looking at literary, medical, ethical, and anthropological texts, we ask how representations of the body affects the way we experience illness, embody gender and racial identities, and understand our rights (or lack of rights) to control our own bodies. We will critically examine our perceptions about the body and debate some of the most complex and sensitive issues surrounding the body, from the ethics of medical research trials to end of life decisions.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 54: 100,000 Years of War

If you had been born 10,000 years ago, the chance that someone would kill you was more than 1 in 10, but if you were born in the twentieth century AD it was more like 1 in 100, despite that century¿s world wars, genocides, and nuclear weapons. In the 2010s, it is just 1 in 150. This course tries to explain this astonishing shift away from violence. We will look at the history of war from the Stone Age to the robot age, including the conflicts of the 2010s; and we will draw on everything from anthropology and archaeology to biology and psychology, as we try to answer one of the biggest questions of all: will there ever be a world without war? Students learn how to approach a big, complex, and often very politicized question in an analytical manner.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 57: Progress: Pro and Contra

Where and when did we start believing in human progress? Does progress imply that history has a particular direction or end-goal?nMuch of our everyday thinking about politics, society, and history depends on some implicit or explicit concept of progress. Have we reached a point where we need to replace the idea of progress with that of sustainability? These are some of the questions this course will raise as it looks at how ideas of progress inform western thinking about science, history, evolution, and politics. It will engage with thinkers who argued in favor of the idea of progress as well as thinkers who attacked its presumptions. Reading and critically evaluating philosophical, scientific, and literary texts, we will investigate the different consequences of our residual belief in progress, as well as the consequences of our possible abandonment of that belief.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 60: American Enemies

It would seem that an enemy should be easy to identify, but this course proposes that this involves deliberation, choice, and an assessment of consequences. We will explore modern American experiences in defining enemies, here defined as mortal threats to the state and the national collective. We will focus on ideas, thinking and assumptions rather than historical chronology. Who are enemies? How are they defined and by whom? How are enemies characterized and perceived? The narrative content of the course would be a historical study of the American engagement with enemies from 1942 to 1990. We will begin with the war or terror, return to consider the experience of the Japanese enemy of World War II, and then come up through the years of the Cold War and beyond.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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