Issues in Science & Technology Outcomes Schedule Assignments Resources Grading Florida Gulf Coast University

This Spring of 2011 students'  issues include:

Kaela BallardNatalija Tishkevich

15-Mar 12:35

Anandi EhmanTyler B Jacobson

15-Mar 1:05
Erinn Campbell 17-Mar 12:35

Jessica Mayer

17-Mar 1:25
Global climate change impact on coral reefs

Devon Bistarkey

22-Mar 12:35

Michele Renzulli

22-Mar 1:00

Paola Tolentino

22-Mar 1:25

Chris Arboleda, Audrey Berman Kate Wilcox

24-Mar 12:35

Twenty pills to living with ADHD:  ADHD medications are being overprescribed.

These stories came out the week this group presented:


F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings

FDA probes relation between ADHD and food dyes (NPR)

US Panel Votes Against More Food Dye Labeling (Common Dreams)


Megan Riley

31-Mar 12:35

Vitamin D is a potent anti-cancer agent

This story came out the day Megan presented:


Most Americans Seem to Have Healthy Levels of Vitamin D Government study finds 8 percent deficient in needed nutrient



Helen Schaaf

31-Mar 1:00

McKenzie Gatz

5-Apr 1:25

Kelly Frey

7-Apr 12:35

Trina Green

7-Apr 1:25

Kate Wing

12-Apr 12:35

Keshia Morris

12-Apr 1:00
Hormones given to cattle should be banned due to animal cruelty rights, and obesity and prepubescence in humans



Rachel Wilson

12-Apr 12:35

Tommy Underhill




Carolyn Pacheco

14-Apr 1:00

Tim Maloney

14-Apr 1:00

My students and I have selected current issues in Science and Technology, and will show you the results of our efforts on these pages.  Students worked individually or in groups to examine these important current issues using critical thinking skills.  The students in the class are demonstrating their ability to model those skills and show evidence of improving their ability to use the University Student Learning Outcomes.

We hope you enjoy the material, and please let us know what you think!

Download Syllabus

Here is a 10 minute You tube video called

 Skewed views of science that summarizes what science is and why I so enjoy this class- I hope you do too!

Did you know?  A five minute video about how fast information is growing.


Some current issues that you may want to consider exploring:

Fracking for Natural Gas-- National Geographic Special report

Gasland the movie

PCB's, BPA and other plastics as endocrine disruptors

Nanotech Particles Pose Serious DNA Risks to Humans and the Environment

Pesticides in food the Big Ag side of the story or the Environmental Working Group issue--

Assessing Children’s Dietary Pesticide Exposure – Direct Measurement of Pesticide Residues in 24-Hour Duplicate Food Samples

Drugs in our waterways

Should the EPA be exempting 'green power' facilities from legal requirements for Agency review?

BIG WETLANDS LOSSES PLOTTED FOR GREEN POWER — Corps Prepares Broad Exemptions for Solar, Wind, Geothermal & Tidal Facilities

(Nationwide Permits limit or eliminate review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service).

Here are some more recent Science and Technology 'issues':

UF study: Mercury causes birds to turn homosexual The head researcher says the study has no relevance to human sexuality.

Government statement on Vitamin D questionable

Documentaries of interest regaring this year's issues:

Split Estate




Nora E. Demers, Ph.D.,

Comparative Immunology
Associate Professor
Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies

Whitaker 218

Office Hours:

Just send a note, stop by or give me a call to make an appointment.  

(239) 590-7211
(239) 590-7200

This is not an "easy" class but it is very interesting and rewarding. 

A great deal of work outside of class time is expected.  

I encourage you to  work with others on similar topics. Take advantage of this opportunity to work as a member of a highly functional group of your design and control.

WARNING: This class is not for the light-hearted- those wanting an "easy A" are strongly encouraged to look elsewhere!  You will be challenged  at least as much as your most rigorous disciplinary course.  I believe that IDS courses are where you should synthesize and apply your disciplinary experience to interdisciplinary issues that our community faces.  If you do not desire this sort of rigorous and challenging exercise, then please do us both a favor and enroll in a different section of IDS 3303.

I look forward to meeting an enthusiastic group of undergraduates at every class session.

Cheating, dishonesty, and plagiarism will not be tolerated and may result in failure of the assignment and/or course.

 If you are at all unclear on the conventions or expectations on academy regarding providing proper citation to your research sources, then please take a moment to review these articles on plagiarism: "What is Plagiarism at Indiana University"; "How to Avoid Plagiarism"; "Avoiding Plagiarism"

Disability Accommodations Services

Florida Gulf Coast University, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the university’s guiding principles, will provide classroom and academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities. If you need to request an accommodation in this class due to a disability, or you suspect that your academic performance is affected by a disability, please contact the Office of Adaptive Services. The Office of Adaptive Services is located in Howard Hall 137. The phone number is 239-590-7956 or TTY 239-590-7930

Spring 2011: IDS 3143

CRN 11533: Investigating Current Issues

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-1:45  

AB3 115

This course is part of the Collegium of Integrated Learning and is required for the B.A. in Liberal Studies. Students and faculty will work together to investigate selected contemporary science/technology issues and problems and how they have developed across time.

Individually and in teams, students will develop "intellectual histories" of an issue or problem and take a stance on an issue. These "histories" will require building an integrated context by examining issues through the perspectives and methods of knowing in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Organized in interdisciplinary ways and problem-based, the course will stress engaged learning.

Students will be expected to formulate their own interpretations and responses to the issues. Consequently, success in the course will rely heavily on critical, creative, systematic, and collaborative thinking and the sophisticated use of communication, information, and technological skills.  

Required text: Science, Nonscience and Nonsense (1995) by Michael Zimmerman Amazon for less than $5

Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London


Learning to think things through: A guide to critical thinking across the curriculum (2nd Edition). Gerald M. Nosich (2004). 

Suggested texts:

Brave new Worlds by Aldous Huxley (1932)

1984 by George Orwell (1949)

Citations for even more readings can be found here

Students will also be expected to identify and use a wide variety of resources available through the library and world wide web.

I will be corresponding with you through your student email account. It is very important for you to have your student email activated. If you need assistance with this, please review the instructions for activating, forwarding, and getting help with your email.

IDS 3303 Home  | Outcomes Schedule   |   Assignments   |  Grading

Click here to see the IDS 3143 Portal- see past issues students examined in previous semesters.

© Demers &  Meers (2006). All rights reserved.
Do not reproduce without permission.
Last updated June 19, 2012