Busy, busy, busy… workin’ on the ASIC course.

Well, it’s finally coming together. This ASIC 200 Global Issues course (of which full details can be found here) is starting to take shape. Allen and I have been tinkering with the material off and on over the last semester, but as the time approaches, we are in high gear with the nitty gritty details of the course content.

We thought we’d begin the ASIC course with an attempt to look at historically what may have defined the meaning of “global” – as in both the humanities and sciences context.

Just to wet your appetite, I thought I would show off the first few slides of my intro (click on the movie to advance slides):

Essentially, I’ll probably do what I almost always do to start off a train of thought – that is to try and “google” a definition (hence the first cartoon slide, taken from Ben’s post earlier this year). Except that when you do this with the word “global,” you get a whole ton of different things, quite frankly a lot of which I don’t actually follow (computer lingo stuff, etc).

Which is why I’ll cheat and turn to the word “globe.” Which seems to be much more straight forward, having definitions that emphasize having “spheroid” characteristics, and having the involvement of the Earth in particular. This, of course, from an empirical lens would suggest that a scientific “global” enlightenment could focus on two main things: You know, the “stuff” all around, and the “where” we happen to be.

Which relates to the last slide above, depicting a few elements from the periodical table (which happen to spell out ASIC), and also a schematic of where the Earth happens to be in the Milky Way. As well, I’ve included two other iconic images that represent to the two main topics currently in the syllabus (climate change and genetic manipulation).

And from here, the meat of the 20 minute lecture can take shape, where hopefully a historical look can help set the scene for the entire course.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and boingboing.net. He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at popperfont.net.