88S. Limitations of Science: Pseudoscience, Research Misconduct, and Fraudulent Discoveries
Seminar, one hour. Do cellphones cause cancer? Does marijuana eat your brain? Are bisphenol A-free (BPA-free) plastic bottles really safe? Daily we are bombarded with scientific studies in the media, but rarely is sufficient evidence provided to corroborate these claims. What is an individual to believe? How can we separate genuine breakthroughs from absurdities? Through deconstructing scientific research and examining provocative real-world examples, examination of variety of issues influencing nature of scientific inquiry and culture of science, such as demarcation of science from non-science, Hippocratic oath of science, abstract and practical limitations of human knowledge, science in media, and borderlines of science. P/NP grading. Facilitated by Arielle Tripp, with faculty mentor Rafael Romero.