This course helps students to learn the basic scientific principles which undergird the scientific process, including the strengths and weaknesses of this process. At the same time, students will learn to appreciate the excitement of discovery that has accompanied important scientific developments while engaging with global cultures whose developments have changed the face of humankind throughout time. Students will learn how scientific methodology can be used to analyze real world problems, including societal issues that can be informed by studies of past cultures. Students will become adept at evaluating scientific data and claims in order to make informed decisions on public-policy science issues that affect their community.
This course also helps students cultivate an informed awareness of the peoples, cultures, languages, and nations of the world, gaining a greater understanding and appreciation of the varieties of human experience across time and space. This understanding is vital to fulfilling the Lord's injunction to understand "things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are…things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgements which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms" (D&C 88:79).
As students complete the course they will learn to communicate their thoughts on various social and scientific topics clearly and meaningfully. Assignments, activities, and discussions include opportunities for students to practice the appropriate use of basic scientific vocabulary and effective interpretation of quantitative data, as well as reflect rationally upon the interface between science, society, and religion. Through the intensive study of examples of peoples in times and places other than their own, students will gain a greater awareness of global cultures outside of their own, thus helping them to develop greater empathy and charity for people in other parts of the world today.