First-Year Seminar in Science

Students » First-Year Seminar in Science
UBC's First-Year Seminar in Science offers a small-class experience and extensive faculty member interaction. It explores science as a comprehensive way of knowing--its curriculum will strengthen your critical thinking and communication skills, and a science and society speaker series will broaden your horizons.

What is Science 113?

This course, which began in Fall, 2010, fulfills part of the communication requirement for UBC Science students.

Who Can Take It?

Students in first-year science (but not Science One or Coordinated Science) are eligible. However, spaces are limited. Registration can be done through the SSC Course Schedule.

How is It Different?

It’s a chance for first year students to interact with a faculty member in a small group setting (maximum 28 students/class). You will get to know your professor, your teaching assistant and your classmates. This is a highly interactive course. Classes involve debates, discussions and other activities to get you thinking, talking, reading and writing about what science is, how it is done, and how it impacts your daily life. There is no final exam – grading is based on multiple writing assignments, homework and in-class participation.

What Will You Learn?

You'll begin learning the skills of scientific writing: how to effectively use empirical evidence to support your arguments, how to write clearly and concisely, and how to cite evidence properly. You’ll get lots of feedback from your professor on how to improve, and you’ll have a head start when it comes to writing lab reports and assignments in your future science classes.

You'll also learn to look critically at arguments made by others--scientists, companies, or the media. Many companies and journalists make claims based on so-called scientific evidence. You’ll learn to assess whether valid science actually supports these claims. You will also get to hear from a wide range of dynamic guest speakers from all walks of life who will challenge you to rethink your ideas about science. You may be surprised by how science is used by people in a vast diversity of career types, not just academics. You’ll also come away with a better idea of how understanding science and the scientific process can make you a more informed and well-rounded global citizen.

Director

Dr. Gunilla Öberg, Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability.
Contact: goberg@ires.ubc.ca