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Society and Science:

Human Boundaries & HUMAN HIERARCHIES

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Do humans act in their best interests? How can citizens in a developed or developing society evaluate and favor scientific evidence over beliefs, assumptions, and myths? How do individuals balance demands from various communities—families, schools, workplace, neighborhoods, cities, regions—to which they belong? As we create new solutions, we are often confounded by both expected and unpredictable problems that arise.


This course aims to examine contemporary issues of life and death through multifaceted approaches to problem solving and ethical dilemmas. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of challenges we face in the 21st century and, in teams, will develop a researched action plan in response to a societal problem.

Topics for study and class discussion will focus on local, national, and global issues: poverty, homelessness, and social services; vaccines and public health; opioid crisis; globalization and cheap labor; debt and higher education; jobs and wages; global climate change; population growth and sustainability. 

 In our discussions we will consider the following questions:

  • What is a society or community?
  • How can individuals shape society through ethical choices and behaviors?
  • How do individuals’ beliefs, opinions, assumptions, and habits conflict with societal change or progress?
  • How can individuals determine what is ethical while making decisions within different communities (as citizens, parents, consumers, leaders, employees, etc.)?
  • What role do social scientists play in influencing public debate and policy?
  • How do social scientists study human behavior and gather data on demographic trends? How can institutions develop policies that align with analysis of scientific evidence?
  • How can individuals and societies analyze and respond to issues of globalization?

All readings for this course will be available on Canvas - a cloud-based Learning Management System that provides online communitcation for students and faculty designed to be used online, on mobile and on tablet. 

Mike White, PhD

801 585-9363


 Society and Science: HUMAN HIERARCHIES

Spring 2021

Class # Subject Cat #  Sec Days/Time
11954 LEAP  1100 004 TuTh / 12:25PM-1:45PM 



Last Updated: 10/13/20