P777: Debunking pseudoscience: Video projects and related assignments to promote critical thinking of scientific information by chemistry students

Author: James Kabrhel, University of Wisconsin - Sheboygan, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 11:30 AM11:50 AM

Room: MAK B1112

Related Symposium: S61

The foundation of many colleges, both 2-year and 4-year, is liberal arts, and critical thinking is vital to a liberal arts education. Science students are given a significant conceptual background, but in an increasingly technological and scientific society, do they have the critical thinking ability to use those concepts outside the classroom? Pseudoscience is rampant in consumerism, and many citizens are taken advantage of, regardless of their scientific background. A video project to debunk an example of pseudoscience from consumer products was assigned to General Chemistry students. Students were encouraged to test products using the scientific method and report results, and also research specific chemicals using primary literature and compare to other Internet sources, including Wikipedia. The results of the project, along with related assignments will be discussed.

P326: Debunking pseudoscience: Increasing scientific literacy in the classroom using critical thinking skills

Author: James Kabrhel, University of Wisconsin - Sheboygan, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 2:05 PM2:25 PM

Room: MAK B1112

Related Symposium: S27

The foundation of many colleges, both 2-year and 4-year, is liberal arts, and critical thinking is vital to a liberal arts education. Science students are given a significant conceptual background, but in an increasingly technological and scientific society, do they have the critical thinking ability to use those concepts outside the classroom? This deficit can also be seen in the general public when viewed through the lenses of traditions and Internet media. Pseudoscience is rampant in consumerism, and many citizens are taken advantage of, regardless of their scientific background. These issues would be decreased if consumers could detect pseudoscience. Incorporation of critical thinking to detect pseudoscience in the context of current events in major-level science courses along with other disciplines will be discussed, including a lecture called “The Myth and Meaning of ‘Chemical-Free'”.