Courses – Science, Nature & Technology

FOUR SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS

Neil Paterson  (University of Dundee Botanic Gardens)

Four scientific revolutions made our world and transformed the way we look at that world – Darwin and evolution; the structure of DNA; modern chemistry; and the baffling world of quantum physics.

NB This class meets at Dalhousie Building

Course Code: 03 103       Monday 6.30 – 8.30       Starts 7 October – 4 weeks          Fee: £32/£28

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DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE

Brian Kelly

This introductory astronomy course will focus on our own Solar System, exploring the Sun, the planets and their moons, and the comets and asteroids. Discover how to find your own way around the night sky and see many of these objects for yourself, with the minimum of equipment.

Course Code: 03 108       Tuesday 6.30 – 8.30       Starts 8 October – 5 weeks          Fee: £40/£35

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EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE

Brian Kelly

Travel out to the edge of the Universe and explore the realm of the stars and galaxies and discover the ultimate fate of the Universe itself. You’ll also learn how astronomers study these remote objects, and how you too can observe the wonders of the night sky.

Course Code: 03 208       Tuesday 6.30 – 8.30       Starts 28 January – 5 weeks          Fee: £40/£35

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INTRODUCING GENOMES

Roddie McKenzie

The Human and Other Genomes (or Genetic Material) How They Work and Why They Are Important

Genomics is the decoding and manipulation of the information contained in the genetic material (DNA) of organisms, including humans. We will explore what DNA reveals about ancestry, identity and disease susceptibility, and learn how genetic engineering can alleviate disease and create products from new microorganisms, plants and animals.

Course Code: 03 112        Tuesday 14.00 – 16.00       Starts 12 November – 5 weeks       Fee: £40/£35

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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY

Roddie McKenzie

This course explores how scientific discoveries combine with other factors and needs to fuel the development of various technologies and how they impact on society. We will also consider both negative and positive effects of technology on society through specific examples, including nuclear power, artificial intelligence/robotics, genetic engineering and the ethical issues they raise.

Course Code: 03 213       Wednesday 10.00 – 12.00       Starts 29 January – 5 weeks       Fee: £40/£35

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TRANSFORMING HUMANITY: HOW DO WE CHANGE DIRECTION?

Keith Skene

From David Bowie’s Changes to the plethora of self-help books and gurus, humanity has been consumed by change. How can we change ourselves into better people? How can my business transform into a successful venture? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Humanity is now facing a much more global problem: our very survival on a planet that we have destroyed. This course is about transition and, in particular, sustainable transition. Along the way, you might gain some knowledge about changing your own world!

Course Code: 03 123       Thursday 6.30 – 8.30       Starts 7 November – 4 Weeks        Fee: £32/£28

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Keith Skene

Week One:  A Brief History of Sustainable Development.What is sustainable development, how did it evolve and what are the issues with it?

Week Two: Post-development: Radical ideas for a new beginning. A whole new set of thinking emerging from South America and Africa challenges the sustainable development dogma. We explore this fascinating area.

Week Three: Lessons from the Natural World. We introduce some new ideas, such as ecological empowerment, and examine emergence and trade-offs.

Week Four: The Diversity/Tribalism Tension. What are the dangers of globalization in terms of sustainable development? How do we balance maintaining diversity (and, therefore, difference) with the risks of tribalism?

Course Code: 03 225       Thursday 6.30 – 8.30       Starts 5 March – 4 weeks          Fee: £32/£28

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ECOLOGICAL FIELD TRIPS

Keith Skene leads two field trips

  • A full-day field course to the Black Woods of Rannoch

Spend the day exploring the ecology of the Black Woods of Rannoch, a fine example of Caledonian Forest, which used to cover vast areas of Scotland. On the shores of Loch Rannoch, this magical habitat provides a wealth of knowledge for us in terms of sustainability. All will be explained with Dr Keith Skene. All participants must arrange their own travel to the site and bring a packed lunch. Full details will be supplied upon enquiry. The four-mile walk on forest paths starts at 11am and finishes at 4pm. Walking boots are recommended.

Course Code: 03 310       Saturday 6 June 11.00 – 4.00       Fee: £20/15

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  • How ecological succession created links golf: an afternoon field course at Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve.

The finest links golf courses are found in Scotland, but just North of the Old Course in St Andrews lies the incredible Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve, a natural links course, thankfully protected from development. Join Dr Keith Skene to explore ecological succession (where sand dunes become forests) and how nature designed the best golf courses in the world, as sand dunes became bunkers and slacks became fairways.

Participants must arrange their own transport to Tentsmuir for this three-mile walk on sandy paths. Further details upon enquiry.

Course Code: 03 311       Saturday 13 June 2.00 – 5.00        Fee: £12/£9

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NB Participants attend at their own risk. You should be aware that the routes may present difficulties for people with mobility problems. Wear sensible shoes and be prepared for rain.

 

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