Mount Hood

Do Scientists Create Disasters?

The 2018 movie catalog of the streaming service Netflix offers an entire film category entitled “Science Gone Wrong”. Why are scientists so often depicted in television and movies as evil or short-sighted? The alternative is not much better; a stereotypical representation as absentminded and ineffective at leadership. Is Michael Crichton entirely to blame or were the seeds of mistrust of science planted in the cinema long ago? Which films portray scientists in a positive way? At a time when mistrust of science is evident at the national level, the question of how the media treats scientists is relevant. This seminar will examine how science is represented in selected films and television. We will then explore actual instances in which scientists have unleashed disaster and how they have helped avoid disasters. Finally, do perceptions and stereotypes promoted by the media influence the diminishing role of science in political debate and policy-making?

Instructor: Jim Dawson
Category: Science, Tech, & Data, Media & Current Events, Policy, Culture, & Society
CRN: 31205

Born This Way? Baby it’s Genetics and Culture

This seminar will examine biological sex development, and how ones sex intersects with how we see gender and communication in our culture. We will examine what beliefs we hold about sex and gender and why, what research is available to help us refine ideas, and investigate how to use new information about sex and gender in our daily lives.

Instructors: Kristin Latham-Scott and Dana Schowalter

Categories: Science, Tech, & Data, Media & Current Events, Policy, Culture, & Society

How to Survive a Mass Extinction

Who lives, who dies, and why? What can we learn by exploring evidence from events millions of years in the past to help us understand what is going on in the world today? By using quantitative skills to explore and explain trends, build and test predictions, and estimate and evaluate outcomes, we will learn how to survive mass extinction, and also how to survive and succeed in college.

Instructor: Erin Baumgartner and Jeff Myers
Categories: Policy, Culture, & Society, Science, Tech, & Data, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution
CRN: 30687

Started from the Bottom, Now We’re Here*

In this class, we will research and write about what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. How are members of these populations, traditionally underrepresented at college, impacted by policy and the Higher Ed experience? We will examine what a modern “War on Poverty” would look like and what role education would play. We will explore issues of identity and culture (including gender, race/ethnicity, and class) and potential solutions to the barriers that underrepresented students face.

Instructor: SEP Faculty
Categories: Society, Policy, & Culture, Identity & Self, Education & Teaching
CRN: 30640