Science and Society, Spring&Summer, 2010

Two sources have many articles of interest in science.  You can search those web sites for
information on any of these topics.  They are


Scientific American

Introduction: What is Science?  What is scientific fact?
    What is Science notes by Bruce Railsback, Professor, Department of
    Geology, University of Georgia


Genetics: an update and review
    Genetics is a huge topic so that it's impossible to cover it except in a cursory way.  The
    Wikipedia page is just an outline.  Please follow the links in the article to read more on the
    topics that interest you most.

    The Wikipedia page on Genetics

    Genetics Notes (in pdf format)
    The notes are long enough that they are in two files.  They are also incomplete and being
    edited for 2010.  If you use these versions, check back later for revised versions.


Genetics and Evolution
    The material for this section is mostly taken from this excellent
    book on the genetic evidence for evolution.  The book contains
    far more material than covered in this course.

    Daniel J. Fairbanks(2007). Relics of Eden, Prometheus Books,
    Amherst, NY. ISBN 978-1-59102-564-1

Global Warming
    Here is a good blog that discusses the criticisms about the reality of global warming

    Here is a recent op-ed piece by Al Gore.  It sums up the status of the worldwide political

    Here is The Quadrennial  Defense Review, February 2010, prepared by the Defense
    Department and presented to the Senate.  See especially pp 84-88 that reveal the military's
    acceptance of global warming as a reality and discusses their planning to deal with the risks
    and challenges it presents them.
    Quadrennial DefenseReviewReport.pdf

    Here is a report on risks to the US from current trends, including climate change, prepared
    in 2008 by the top US intelligence official in the Bush Administration to be given to the next
    President Obama.  As seen in the DoD report,  the intelligence community recognizes the
    reality of climate change and predicts severe detrimental consequences for the US.

    An open letter signed by 255 of the world's leading scientists: all members of The National
    Academy of Sciences.  It defends the scientific case for global warming.  The New York
    Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post all refused to publish it on their
    OpEd pages even though they have all published criticisms of the factuality of global

    Lecture Slides
    Global Warming.pdf

Particle Physics, the LHC, and Cosmology (2 weeks)
    Elementary particle physics is understood fully by only a handful of people in the world.  
    Nevertheless, a few popular books can give explain some of the concepts to you without any
    mathematics.  I recommend the following ones.

    This book gives a fascinating conceptual tour of string theory with
    emphasis on the multiple dimensions of current theories.

    Lisa Randall (2005), Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries
    of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions, Harper Collins, New York.
    ISBN 978-0-06-053108-9

    Brian Greene has produced books and film explaining modern
    particle physics that have received excellent reviews and awards,
    including the Pulitizer Prize.  This book is an up-to-date survey of
    "The Theory of Everything".

    Brian Greene(2004), The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time,
    and the Texture of Reality, Vintage Books, New York.
    ISBN 0-375-72720-5

    Lee Smolin explains String Theory and alternate theories.  He
    gives an excellent history of string theory and emphasizes the
    human foibles that have accompanied the development.

    Lee Smolin(2004), The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time,
    and the Texture of Reality, Vintage Books, New York.
    ISBN 0-375-72720-5

Alternative Energy Update
Copyright  2010 James W. Wiggins.  All rights reserved.
The TOALC Reading Page