Exploring the Sciences

“It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.” (Sagan)

Why choose discovery modules from Exploring the Sciences?

For some of us the word “science” conjures various unpalatable images: fustiness, strangeness, odd (more often than not) old chaps in white coats, a language all of its own, at best difficult and at worst incomprehensible, elitist, egotistical, full of unfathomable mathematics and perhaps many more besides.

Then again for others amongst us, completely different images emerge: beautiful, creative, subjective, open-ended, useful, foundational, outward-looking and fun.

It doesn’t really matter on which side of the image-fence you sit, the important thing about science, as with any and every other subject in life is not to be frightened of the baggage.  

Science, like art, languages, culture, philosophy, religion, politics etc….is an integral part of humanity. It impacts, and in turn is impacted upon, each of the other major endeavours of human kind. Moreover, science will have a part to play in our addressing, collectively, many of the most pressing global problems facing humanity. 

However, you do not need to be a scientist to “get” or “use” science. Science is not just for scientists, it is for everyone. 

Within this Theme you will find modules which try to open up scientific ideas to curious minds, regardless of which degree programme you are taking. Collectively, they illustrate the diversity of investigation and broad societal impact of science. They have been developed to engage you, not to reinforce old stereotypes. To offer you a way in to how science ideas have impacted our lives and how you, in turn, can appreciate some aspects of what science has to offer. 

Some of the discovery modules in this Theme do require a prior acquaintance with certain scientific ideas; but many do not. The emphasis is more on recognising where science fits into today’s world and some of the big issues facing all of us. 

You may think that science is all about knowing lots of facts. That’s not science, that’s stamp-collecting. You may think science is just about separating what is right and what is not right. That too is not science but more the realm of lawyers and ethicists. Science, just like all other major human endeavours of thought and activity seeks to understand our world, our place within that world and how best to secure a legacy for humanity which will be of some value to future generations.

If you have any questions about this Discovery Theme, you can contact the Theme Leader: Terry Kee T.P.Kee@leeds.ac.uk

Make the most of your discovery modules

Depending on how your interests develop, you can opt to take further discovery modules within this Theme, or explore new topics in other Discovery Themes. Alternatively, you may wish to take a selection of modules from one of the sub-themes.

If you want to branch out into other Themes, ‘Mind and Body’ offers modules which cover medicine and health. Alternatively, learn about the relationship between science and sustainability by taking modules from the ‘Creating Sustainable Futures’ Theme.

 

The Sub-themes

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People and Planet

Fancy yourself as a bit of a David Attenborough? Want to learn more about people, animals, and the planet we all inhabit?

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Science and Health

Want to explore a scientist’s perspective on health? 

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Scientific Thought and Methodology

"Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) So science starts with questions…Read on to discover some of the answers…

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Modelling, Making Sense of Data and Analytical Thinking

“Mathematics is a place where you can do things which you can't do in the real world." (Marcus du Sautoy) Or does mathematics provide a way of thinking about the world with the power to alter our realities?

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The Universal Language of Science Logical Reasoning and Truth

“I think therefore I am.” (Descartes) Is it as simple as this?

 

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The Physical Environment

We inhabit a living, breathing planet. So what is the relationship between nature and nurture? 

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Microbes, Plants, Animals and Evolution

Discover the unity and diversity of life from the smallest microbe to the largest organisms. 

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Space, Sound, Energy, Light and Matter

“We are more closely connected to the invisible than the visible.” (Novalis)

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