Prospectus

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Science Methodology

Course 2014-2015

Science Methodology – Understanding the Principles of Scientific Research

A course for students in natural sciences

Lecturers:

Dr. Victor Gijsbers (Institute of Philosophy), (v.gijsbers@hum.leidenniv.nl)

Course Contents

During the BSc and MSc education students learn lots of scientific facts, but do they know how science works? In this course the basic principles of the methodology used in the natural sciences are taught. The aim is to let the student contemplate on concepts like ‘truth’, ‘experiments’, ‘models’, ‘confirmation/falsification’ and make the student aware of the limitations of the ability to make objective observations. Also current practices, like the mechanisms of research funding, ‘publish or perish’ dogma and the importance of impact as well as integrity and ethics in science will be discussed.

The course is meant for MSc and PhD students in any of the natural sciences who are performing scientific research projects. It will consist of lectures and discussions. Examination consists of two essays.

Assessment method:

Examination consists of mandatory participation in class, and two essays.

Learning goals

The aim is to let the student comtemplate concepts like ‘truth’, ‘experiments’, ‘models’, ‘confirmation/falsification’ and make the student aware of the limitations of the ability to make objective observations.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and discussions

Schedule

February 16th – March 30: Mondays 15h30 – 17h15: Lecturers
February 17th – March 31: Mondays 15h30 – 17h15: Discussions

Reading list

n.a.

Lecturers

Prof. Dr. Marcellus Ubbink (Institute of Chemistry) Tel: 071-5274628, E-mail: m.ubbink@chem.leidenuniv.nl
Dr. Victor Gijsbers (Institute of Philosophy, Leiden University)

Additional info:

Location of the lectures will appear on Blackboard!
Co-ordinator: Prof. Dr. Marcellus Ubbink (Institute of Chemistry) Tel: 071-5274628, E-mail: m.ubbink@chem.leidenuniv.nl

See also the course website