Fall '99 Course Guide

Courses in RC Natural Science (Division 875)

Fall Term, 1999 (September 8 December 22, 1999)

Take me to the Fall Term '99 Time Schedule for RC Natural Science.


Most RC courses are open to LS&A students and may be used to meet distribution requirements.

RC sections of LS&A Courses

These sections will be letter graded for all students Math 115 Section 110 Analytical Geometry & Calculus. See Math 115.


RC Nat. Sci. 214/Physics 214. The Physicists and the Bomb.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): T. Michael Sanders (sanders@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: High school mathematics. (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In this course we will consider the role played by physicists and others in the development of the Atomic Bomb, its precursors, and its aftermath. It deals with technical, political, and ethical aspects of this episode, and also its impact on literature, language, film, and popular culture. Some of the principal players, including J. Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller, continue to interest authors and audiences.

The story will include: The First World War (introduction of aerial warfare and poison gas); European inter-war developments (rise of fascism); "Modern" physics (from the discoveries of x-rays and radioactivity to nuclear fission and fusion); the Manhattan project/building the Bomb, the decision to drop the Bomb; Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the Cold War and McCarthy; Big Science; the decision to build the H-Bomb; the Soviet nuclear program; Spies; "In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer". the nuclear arms race; proliferation; Nuclear Power; the post Cold War period.

Readings are drawn from primary and secondary sources, and will include film and video presentations. There will be quizzes, research papers, and student class presentations.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RC Nat. Sci. 250. Ecology, Development, and Conservation in Latin America.

Section 001 Ecology, Conversation, and Development of the New World Tropics. Spanish Recommended

Instructor(s): Ingio de la Cerda

Prerequisites & Distribution: Reading and listening proficiency in Spanish; high school biology or environmental science. (4). (NS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course will address problems of environmental conservation, agriculture and development for third World nations, especially the American Tropics. The focus will be on the interaction between ecological and socio-political aspects and the effects that the South-North imbalance has on the environment.

The course will help form the foundations needed to articulate your positions regarding ecology and development in the tropics. Topics covered will include: (1) Ecology of the Tropics (climate, soils, history (paleo and modern), biodiversity, conservation, and field trips to the Botanical Gardens); (2) Agriculture (traditional, ecological, and industrial); and (3) Development (economics, controversies, and myths regarding hunger/overpopulation).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RC Nat. Sci. 263/Urban Planning 263. Energy and the Environment.

Section 001 Meets with Physics 250

Instructor(s): Jensen

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course introduces the concepts of energy and the environment, which then serve as a basis for discussion of pollution, scarcity of resources, technological impacts, and the future of humankind. Topics include a survey of non-renewable and renewable resources and current energy use patterns, nuclear power issues, and the prospectus for, and problems with, alternative energy scenarios. Possible energy futures for both the developed and developing worlds will be discussed. In particular, we will consider the implications for energy choices in terms of life styles, policies, and ethical considerations. There are no college prerequisites, but students should have quite a bit of experience beyond ninth grade math.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RC Nat. Sci. 270. New Biotechnology: Scientific, Social and Historical Perspectives.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Susan Wright

Prerequisites & Distribution: High school biology. (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course examines the development of genetic engineering and other biogenetic technologies that provide powerful methods for intervening in the genetic constitution of living things. It asks some of the questions that the scientific community asked itself when these techniques were invented in several California laboratories in the early 1970's: what principles should guide assessment of a new form of technology in the face of varying technical opinion about its implications? Should scientific research be controlled? What should be the roles of technical experts and the wider public in policy making? Where should decisions be made? And who should decide such matters? How these issues have been addressed are central themes of the course.

The principal goal of the course is to develop a broad historical perspective in the emergence and development of a new field of scientific achievement, the contexts in which the field is evolving, the terms of development, and the social and ethical issues associated with the development and application.

This term, the course will focus on social and ethical issues associated with emerging or projected applications of biotechnology for example, the patenting of life forms, military use, the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment, agricultural applications, genetic engineering in humans, the human genome project.

Readings:
Dorothy Nelkin, Dangerous Diagnostics (1990).
David Suzuki, Genetics (Harvard University Press, 1989).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RC Nat. Sci. 419/Physics 419/Public Policy 519/NR&E 574. Energy Demand.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Ross

Prerequisites & Distribution: Basic college economics and senior standing. (3). (SS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See Physics 419.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

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