Calendar


Fall 2015

August

M 8/24: Welcome and Overview
Preparation
• Please surf the course website and the tools and materials on our Scholar site.
In-Class Activities
• We will examine the structure of the course with a particular emphasis on learning goals.

Unit One: "Visions of Nature and Environment"

W 8/26: The Good Anthropocene
Preparation
Please read:
"An Ecomodernist Manifesto", John Asafu-Adjaye et al.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss the relationship among human development, prosperity and the environment.

F 8/28: Envisioning the Future of Environmentalism
Preparation
Please read:
"Is the 'Ecomodernist Manifesto' the Future of Environmentalism?" Michelle Nijhius.
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 1:Envisioning
• Groups in each course section will discuss, and provide an image envisioning, the future of environmentalism.

M 8/31: Opposing Visions
Preparation
Please read:
"Environmentalism." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze selected images from groups representing the future of environmentalism. We will discuss opposing visions of environmentalism.

September

W 9/2: Preserving the Wilderness
Preparation
Please read:
"The American Forests", by John Muir. (Chapter 10 of Our National Parks.)
Please refer to:
Environmental Conservation and Preservation: Definition, Differences and Advocates.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss the Muir's work in forwarding preservationism.

F 9/4: Stadium Woods
Preparation
Please read:
"Virginia Tech sports facility plan in Stadium Woods draws opposition" by Darryl Fears, Washington Post.
Please refer to:
Save Stadium Woods; "New Stewardship Plan announced for Stadium Woods" (Alison Cuevas, Collegiate Times); and Save Stadium Woods - Virginia Tech (YouTube).
In-Class Activities
• Each course section will discuss the Stadium Woods debate in relation to conceptions of preservationism.

M 9/7: Labor Day
Class will not be held

W 9/9: Silent Revolution
Preparation
Please read:
❦ The Foreword and Chapters 1 and 2 from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss Rachel Carson's work in relation to contemporary environmentalism.

F 9/11: Questioning the Effect of Silent Spring
Preparation
Please read:
"Silent Spring.""Environmental Science: In Context. Ed. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 734-738.
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 2: Asking
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and develop a central question about Silent Spring.

M 9/14: Invitation to Environmental Philosophy
Preparation
Please read:
"The future of environmental philosophy: Irene J. Klaver."
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze selected questions from groups on Silent Spring. We will consider how to approach environmental philosophy.

W 9/16: Contesting the History of "America's Best Idea"
Preparation
Please read:
"Environmentalism's Racist History", Jedediah Purdy, The New Yorker.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss certain assumptions guiding the early conservationism movement.

F 9/18: Defining Environmental Racism
Preparation
Please read:
"Environmental Harm Disproportionately Impacts the Poor and Minorities.
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 3: Defining
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and develop definitions of environmentalism that address exclusionary politics.

M 9/21: Environmentalism's Political Complexities
Preparation
Please read:
"Equity, Eco-Racism and Environmental History", Martin V. Melosi.
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the definitions developed by groups in taking up the vexing problem of how to properly define terms.

W 9/23: Exam 1 Review
In-Class Activities
Exam 1 and the grading rubric will be distributed and reviewed.

F 9/25: Exam 1
• Please continue to work on Exam 1. Class will not be held.

M 9/28: Exam 1
• Please continue to work on Exam 1. Class will not be held.

Unit Two: "Public Understanding of Science and Technology"

W 9/30: Learning Science
Preparation
Exam 1 due to your Dropbox on Scholar by no later than 9:45 a.m.
Please read:
"Science and the Public", Steven Shapin (990-1007) (from Companion to the History of Modern Science, edited by Olby, Cantor, Christie and Hodge.

October

F 10/2: Claiming the Historical Defense of Climate Science
Preparation
Please read:
"Naomi Oreskes, a Lightning Rod in a Changing Climate", Justin Gillis, The New York Times.
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 4: Claiming
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and identify and forward a central argumentative claim about the public understanding of science resulting from this account of Oreskes' work.

M 10/5: On the Fringe
Preparation
Please read:
"The Influence of Fringe Science on Global Warming Policy"
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the claims developed by groups in analyzing how arguments involving science and the public get made.

W 10/7: The Scientific Paper
Preparation
Please read:
Is the Scientific Paper a Fraud?"" Peter Medawar, 1964.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss the nature and reception of the scientific journal article.

F 10/9: Describing the Climate Change Controversy
Preparation
Please read:
Attorney General of Virginia's climate science investigation
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 5: Describing
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading, analyze the description and reconceive an aspect of the description in the Wikipedia entry.

M 10/12: The Public Understanding of Science
Preparation
Please read:
"The 95 percent solution: school is not where most Americans learn most of their science."
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the descriptions developed by groups in taking up how we understand and judge science.

W 10/14: Defining Technology
Preparation
Please read:
Chapters 1 and 2 from David Nye's Technology Matters (2006).
In-Class Activities
• We will examine definitions of technology.

F 10/16
Fall Break. Class will not be held

M 10/19: Technological Solutions to Climate Change?
Preparation
Please read:
"Nuclear Power Is the Best Way to Address Climate Change".
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss whether or not we can develop technological solutions to environmental problems.

W 10/21: Living in Technopoly
Preparation
Please read:
Chapter 1 from Technopoly, by Neil Postman.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss the nature of a society dominated by technology and our poalce in it.

F 10/23: Debating Resistance
Preparation
Please read:
Chapter 11 from Technopoly, by Neil Postman.
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 6: Debating
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and debate the solutions Postman offers for living in a technopoly.

M 10/26: We Get Round
Preparation
Please read:
"The Machine Stops", E.M. Forster (1909).
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the debates on resisting technologies and look at a literary vision of our technological future.

W 10/28: Exam 2 Review
In-Class Activities
Exam 2 and the grading rubric will be distributed and reviewed.

F 10/30: Exam 2
• Please continue to work on Exam Two. Class will not be held.

November

M 11/2: Exam 2
• Please continue to work on Exam Two. Class will not be held.

Unit Three: "Our Human Future"

W 11/4: Human Enhancement
Preparation
Please read:
Exam 2 due to your Dropbox on Scholar by no later than 9:45 a.m.
"Human Genetic Enhancements: A Transhumanist Perspective", Nick Bostrom, The Journal of Value Inquiry 37: 493-506, 2003.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss the possibilities and environmental implications of human enhancement.

F 11/6: Judging Enhancements
Preparation
Please read:
"Enhancing Humans Through Science Is Beneficial".
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 7: Judging
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and consider approaches as to how we might judge the pursuit of human enhancement.

M 11/9: More or Less Human
Preparation
Please read:
"Radical Life Extension Would Make People Less Human".
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the approach to judgment developed by groups in discussing how we determine what is, or is not, human.

W 11/11: Fearing Our Future Selves
Preparation
Please read:
"Be Very Afraid: Cyborg Athletes, Transhuman Ideals & Posthumanity", Andy Miah, Journal of Evolution and Technology Vol. 13, October 2003.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss whether we should fear our posthuman future.

F 11/13: Knowing Our Future Selves
Preparation
Please read:
"A not-so-new eugenics: Harris and Savulescu on human enhancement'
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 8: Knowing
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and offer an account of if we can recognize and know our future selves.

M 11/16: Technology and Sustainability
Preparation
Please read:
"Climate redux: welcome to the anthropocene".
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the approach to knowing the future in relation to our new stage in human history.

W 11/18: Transhuman Ethics
Preparation
Please read:
"Transhumanism for the Encyclopedia of Ethics, Science, Technology and Engineering".
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss aspects of a transhuman ethics.

F 11/20: Manager's Choice
Class will not be held.

Holiday

M 11/30: Greater Caution
Preparation
Please read:
"The Perils Of Precaution", Policy Review, 2001.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss whether we should regulate our way to the future.

December

W 12/2: Proaction
Preparation
Please read:
"The Proactionary Principle", Max More, July 29, 2005.
In-Class Activities
• We will discuss a rather more "open" appraoch to human development.

F 12/4: Reflecting on Our Future Politics
Preparation
Please read:
❦; "The Rise of the Up-Wingers Part One".
In-Class Activities
Conceptual Exercise 9: Reflecting
• Groups in each course section will discuss the reading and offer reflections on the possibilities of future politics..

M 12/7: The Horizon Awaits
Preparation
Please read:
"The Rise of the Up-Wingers Part Two".
In-Class Activities
• We will analyze the reflections of groups in discussing a future politics of human and environmental development.

W 12/9: Exam 3 Review and Final Curtain
In-Class Activities
Exam 3 and the grading rubric will be distributed and reviewed.
I''ll Be Seeing You.

W 12/16: Exam 3
Preparation
Exam 3 due to your Dropbox on Scholar by no later than 9:45 a.m.
For reference, the fall exam schedule.

Well Done!

Introduction to Humanities, Science and Technology