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lec_1 - BIO10275 Fall2011 Dr R Hoffmann Science To know...

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Dr. R. Hoffmann BIO 102-75 Intro to Biological Systems Fall 2011
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Science To know … Information Critical thinking Impact on our lives Technology Medicine 2
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Common misconceptions Scientists always get good results from their investigations News stories are accurate descriptions of what really happened People who are not scientists cannot critically think about science news stories 3
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Where we are going today “Scientific” information should not be accepted unconditionally The scientific method drives all science The scientific method should be recognizable in a (good, reliable) news story 4
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Fig. 1-UN04 Observation Question Hypothesis Prediction Experiment Revise and repeat Peeling the Onion
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Scientific Method What is the question? Suggest an answer Hypothesis Prediction Devise an experiment Identify variables Obtain results Support or refute hypothesis 6
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Eating PCBs from Lake Ontario: A Clicker Case on Science and the Media Eric Ribbens, Western Illinois University 7
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Jill “Why?” she wondered. “I just want a baby!” Jill and Steve had been trying to get pregnant for over three years now without success. 8 Jill wiped away a tear as she sat down on the couch. The home pregnancy kit she had just used clearly indicated that she was not pregnant.
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She turned on the radio… “Do fish from Lake Ontario prevent pregnancy? Study says yes! Women who eat fish from Lake Ontario are more likely to have menstruation problems, take longer to get pregnant, and may have altered levels of estrogen. So, if you forgot to take the pill... just eat some fish!” 9 The announcer’s voice boomed out:
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The announcer moved on to another topic, after cracking a joke about how fishermen were going to disappear because they couldn’t have babies. Jill began to cry. It was those fish, it had to be those fish. She was going to dig through the freezer, throw all the fish away, and break Steve’s fishing rods! She stormed into their bedroom and collapsed on their bed, sobbing. 10
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Steve Steve ambled into the bedroom from the bathroom, where he had been shaving, to find Jill sobbing on the bed. 11 “What’s wrong, honey?” he asked, cuddling her. In between sobs, Jill told him what the radio announcer had said.
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Another Perspective “That doesn’t sound right”, Steve thought. He grabbed his bedside copy of the Lake Ontario Sport Fisherman magazine and flipped through 12 to a page summarizing recent news related to the Great Lakes. “Isn’t this the same study?” Steve thought? He read:
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