Astronomy & Public Policy

214
Smith College: This seminar explores the intersection of physical science, social science, psychology, politics and the environment. How do scientists, decision makers and the public communicate with each other, and how can scientists do better at it? What should the role of scientists be in advocacy and social movements? How does scientific information influence lifestyle and behavior choices among the public at large? We focus on three topics with close ties to astronomy: (1) global climate change, which involves basic atmospheric physics; (2) light pollution, which wastes billions of dollars per year and ruins our view of the starry sky without providing the safety it promises; and (3) controversial development of mountaintop observations such as the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, HI. Throughout the course we will develop science communication skills using proven techniques borrowed from theater. Prerequisite: one college science course in any field and MTH 111 or the equivalent. {N} Credits: 4 Members of the department Normally offered each spring

Prerequisites: 

Prerequisite: one college science course in any field and MTH 111 or the equivalent. {N} Credits: 4

Credits: 

3

Level: 

Undergraduate

Availability: 

Spring