Knowledge and Doubt

Instructor
Charlie Curtsinger
Writing Mentor
Caryn McKechnie
Meeting Times
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00–9:50am in Noyce 2517
Office Hours
Please make an appointment if you would like to meet during my office hours.
  • Monday, 1:15pm–2:30pm
  • Tuesday, 10:00am–11:50am
  • Wednesday, 1:15pm–2:30pm
  • Thursday, 10:00am–11:50am
Books
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (ISBN 978-0-7679-0818-4)
  • Bad Science by Ben Goldacre (ISBN 978-0-86547-918-0)

About this course

We broaden our understanding of the world through the accumulation of knowledge, but where does this knowledge come from? It is not enough for a brilliant mind to think brilliant thoughts; ideas follow a slow, circuitous path on their way to becoming knowledge. Along this path, the “right” ideas must contend with other ideas based on old interpretations of evidence, ulterior motives, or flawed intuition. In this tutorial we will examine the accumulation of scientific knowledge in history and look closely at some of the techniques that malicious actors use to sow doubt and slow the spread of knowledge.

For a detailed description of the expectations for this course, see the syllabus.