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Big Ideas of Science


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REINFORCE courses on Critical and Scientific Thinking are inspired by the "Big Ideas Course" taught at the University of Berkeley by Saul Permutter, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

As Saul Permutter says of his course "this is a course on the ideas from science that are most widely useful for everyone. Many insights and conceptual tools from scientific thinking are of great utility for all kinds of reasoning, from reading the news critically to making decisions under conditions of uncertainty. The focus in this course is on the errors humans tend to make, and the approaches scientific methodology has developed (and continues to develop) to minimize those errors. The course includes a discussion of the nature of science, what makes science such an effcetive way of knowing, how both non-scientific thinking and scientific thinking can go awry, and how we can reason more clearly and successfully as individuals, as members of groups, and as citizens of a democracy".

The aim of REINFORCE Courses on Critical and Scientific Thinking is to help people to become better thinkers and to be able to distinguish between pathological science, pseudo-science, fraudulent science, poorly-done science and good science.

After an introductory course on Sense and Sensibility and Science, given by Professor Permutter, four courses will be offered by Stefano Gattei, Professor of Science in Society at the University of Trento.

Critical and Scientific Thinking - day 2

Critical and Scientific Thinking - day 3

Critical and Scientific Thinking - day 4

Critical and Scientific Thinking - day 5

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