Briefly introduce the three specific characteristics you identified to explain the nature of science.

This assignment should be written as a paper (i.e. in paragraph form) and should be at least 750 words (excluding references). You do not need to repeat the instructions in the assignment. You will watch three of the TED Talks from the list below. While watching the talks you selected, select specific ideas from the talk that characterize science. Synthesize the ideas that you identified in the talks with what you have learned in class to develop an explanation of the nature of science. Your explanation must be supported by at least three different characteristics of science. Additionally, you will compare and contrast each characteristic from your explanation of the nature of science to the characteristics of the nature of a discipline that interests you, and speculate on the types of questions people in these fields can work together to answer.

Below is the information needed:

What is the “nature of science”? :

http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/nos.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

TED Talks (You Pick Three):

Uri Alon: Why science demands a leap into the unknown (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Kevin B. Jones: Why curiosity is the key to science and medicine (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Naomi Oreskes: Why we should believe in science (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Robin Ince: Science versus wonder (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Stuart Firestein: The pursuit of ignorance (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

David Deutsch: A new way to explain explanation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Jedidah Isler: The untapped genius that could change science for the better (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Beay Lotto + Amy O’Toole: Science is for everyone, kids included (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Tyler DeWitt: Hey science teachers –make it fun (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Rachel Pike: The science behind a climate headline (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Mae Jemison: Teach arts and sciences together (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Dan Ariely: Beware of conflicts of interest (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

James Randi: Homeopathy, quackery, and fraud (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Molly Crockett: Beware neuro bunk (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Lee Smolin: Science and democracy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Michael Shermer: Why people believe weird things (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Vanessa Ruiz: The spellbinding art of human anatomy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Neri Oxman: Design at the intersection of technology and biology (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Carrie Poppy: A scientific approach to the paranormal (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Adam Savage: How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Richard Dawkins: On our queer universe (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Ben Goldlacre: Battling bad science (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Jonathan Dori: On what we think we know (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Michael Nielsen: Open science now! (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

O. Wilson: Advice to a young scientist (Links to an external site.)

Use the following outline as a guide when writing your paper. Remember, your paper must be written in paragraph form. This is an optional assignment; therefore the expectations are very high. See the course website for a complete rubric of this assignment. Failure to use TED Talks from the list on page 2 will result in a “0” for this assignment.

  1. Introduction (10 points)
    1. Provide the exact title and a brief overview (1-2 sentences) of each TED Talk you watched. All TED Talks must come from the list on page 2.
    2. Briefly introduce the three specific characteristics you identified to explain the nature of science.
    3. Describe your major/discipline/career field of interest.
  2. The main body of the paper should describe the three characteristics of science you introduced in part (b) of the introduction, relate these characteristics back to concepts learned in the BSC1005 course, and compare each characteristic to the discipline you described in part (c) of the Introduction (total 30 points). Use the ideas in the TED Talks to justify why each characteristic you identified is scientific and to support your comparisons between the nature of science and the nature of a different discipline.

For each characteristic:

  1. Describe the characteristic (for example: “scientific knowledge is based on evidence.”).
  2. Support this characteristic by using specific ideas from the TED Talks. You may incorporate additional information learned from class etc., but be sure to reference at least one TED Talk to support each characteristic. Provide time stamps from the videos as part of your evidence (i.e. “As Carrie Poppy noted (2:13)…”). Refrain from direct quotes.
  3. How does this characteristic relate to at least one concept or topic you have learned about in BSC1005? (For example: “Dr. Erickson discussed the types of evidence paleobiologists use to learn about the lives of dinosaurs”).
  4. How is this characteristic of science similar to or different from characteristics of your discipline? Compare and contrast how this characteristic of science relates to your major/discipline/career field of interest (for example: “Science uses evidence-based reasoning, and, in my field, we also use evidence to prove our clients are innocent. However, the types of evidence in my field seem to be different from science. For instance, …”). Only thoughtful, descriptive responses with at least one example to support reasoning will receive full credit.
  5. Conclusion (10 points)
    1. Summarize your explanation of the nature of science based on the three characteristics you described in your paper.
    2. Pose one question you think scientists and professionals in the discipline you described could work together to answer. Be sure to mention at least one of the characteristics/connections you described in the previous paragraphs to support your conclusion.
    3. Describe how you think scientists and professionals in your discipline would go about answering this question (i.e. what methods would they use? What data would they collect?).

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