Biology



BIOL 009A ~ Science as a Way of Knowing
CRN: 91414

Where does all that information in science books come from? Do most scientists, like Archimedes, simply have eureka moments that reveal new knowledge or is knowledge the result of a disciplined process of checks and balances? How does one evaluate the plethora of scientific information in this age of modern medicine? This course tours the historical contributions and the development of important paradigms shaping modern biology. We will examine how people, through the ages, have thought about life and sought to understand it. Using this information, students will be challenged to build a conceptual framework of current biological science through lively group discussions, scientific and expository writing, and critical evaluation of relevant scientific issues. In the end, we will see how science is one way of "knowing" about our world.

Requirements Satisfied: one non-laboratory Natural Science course
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:50pm-1:40pm
Contact: 802-656-4627 Jim.Vigoreaux@uvm.edu or  802-656-8654 Becky.Miller@uvm.edu,

Jim Vigoreaux: Professor and Chair of Biology, has had a lifelong fascination with machina carnis, the "meat machine" more commonly known as muscle. His research examines how tiny muscles in the thoracic cavity of insects have evolved into highly sophisticated and powerful biological engines.

Becky Miller: Research Associate and Lecturer in Biology, has spent a number of years investigating the connection between mutations in muscle proteins and the resulting structural and functional changes. Currently, she is studying two structural proteins (one in vertebrates and one in invertebrates) in order to uncover any similarities in function. At the same time, she is very interested in science education and potential ways to increase our scientific literacy. When not in the classroom or the lab, she can be found "experimenting" in the kitchen, the garden, or the great outdoors.