Fall 2022

Fall 2022

Dealing with Disasters: Science, Politics and Policy

David A. Shirk, Zhi-Yong Yin

This course examines the problem of “disasters” from the lenses of the natural and social sciences, drawing insights specifically from earth science and political science. By taking this course, students will gain a better appreciation of the scientific causes of different types of hazards, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, and famines, as well as the social and political factors that increase human vulnerability to catastrophic outcomes. While most of the course will emphasize “natural disasters,” the course will also take into consideration the human and environmental consequences of other types of “technological” and human-caused disasters, such as nuclear accidents, chemical spills, and crashes. Students will draw on both scientific and policy analysis to consider the best strategies and practices available to mitigate hazards and their effects, as well as the ethical dilemmas and moral hazards involved in disaster relief efforts. Finally, and most important, students will have the opportunity to consider the human, environmental, and economic toll of catastrophic events, and the political and policy responses to them. 

HNRS 330

David A. Shirk

POLS/IREL

This section satisfies 4 units of upper-div elective credit in the POLS/IREL major or minor. It also satisfies Core Advanced Integration. There are no prerequisites for this course.

HNRS 331

Zhi-Yong Yin

EOSC

This section satisfies 4 units of upper-div elective credit in the EOSC major or minor. It also satisfies Core Advanced Integration. There are no prerequisites for this course.

 

Apostles and Apostates: Orthodoxy and Heresy in Science and Religion

Daniel Sheehan, Mary Doak

The various issues of presumed conflict today between religion and science are evidence of widespread confusion about truth, method, and the development of ideas in both science and religion. Through an exploration of the processes by which new ideas come to be accepted in theology and in science, this course will enable students to navigate our current societal confusion with better understandings of the arguments and claims to truth of each field. We will also look at case studies of historical conflicts between science and religion as well as some contemporary topics (such as cosmic origins and climate change) as examples of how the contributions of both science and theology together might result in more adequate understandings of our place in and responsibility for the world.

HNRS 354

Daniel Sheehan

PHYS

HNRS 355

Mary Doak

THRS

*Approved Core: Advanced Integration, Upper-Division Theological and Religious Inquiry (355)