We live in the information age. More than any generation before us, we are increasingly inundated with scientific information and asked to make educated decisions regarding nutrition, safety, technology, etc. Yet the public often looks upon science with confusion and even fear. Without a proper understanding of the science behind today's technology and information, it is impossible to make informed decisions. An understanding of science will empower us in the choices we make. Does smoking cause lung cancer? Arguments have been made both for and against. Understanding the science behind the arguments will enable us to effectively decide for ourselves. One problem with the public perception of science is that it is viewed as 'truth'. Science is not truth; it is a process of discovery. Science is testable. Experiments are laid out in such a manner that they can be repeated. The goal of this course is not to memorize 'facts' set forth by some long-dead scientist but to develop a sense of critical thinking. Scientific thought is the ability to question the world around us. As with any subject, there are basic principles to be learned. This course will introduce you to the basic concepts underlying scientific thought and challenge you to apply these concepts to the world around you. We will connect the theory of atomic isotopes with butterfly migrations, nuclear chemistry with art fraud and acid/base chemistry with indigestion. Lecture exams and assignments are designed to test your ability to apply the concepts learned in class. You will not be expected to simply regurgitate information. Rather the assignments will test your understanding of the concepts and your ability to apply these concepts in other situations. SPRING 2015 SEMESTER OFFICE HOURS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: Mondays and Wednesdays starting January 28 from 2 pm to 4 pm in Rm. 3-77 A.