Deception Detox - How solid science can help you save the world
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assignment Level : Introductive
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Key information

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About the content

This course will help you become scientifically literate so that you can make better choices for yourself and the world. Unlike other courses on statistics and scientific methods, we explore global challenges - such as poverty or climate change - and then discuss how key approaches of statistics and scientific methods can help tackle these challenges. We present these approaches in a non-mathematical and easily accessible way. You will leave the course being able to recognize which efforts to do good in this world actually work, and you will have used your science literacy to make some personal changes in your life. Many current attempts to do good in this world are based on good intentions, but don’t work well, or are even harmful. In this course we talk to leading experts from academia, business and non-profit organizations about how we can use science to distinguish bad, good and even better ways of improving this world. We also invite you to change your own behavior to do more good. You will learn how to spot BS (bad science) in the media, how to evaluate whether a social program works or not, and how your career could have a better impact on this world. Finally, you will develop your own plan on how you are going to do good better with science. Guest speakers include Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely, Philosopher Peter Singer, and Happiness researcher Elizabeth Dunn.

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Syllabus

  • Week 1 - Science literacy as a vaccine against the charlatans
    We kick off this course by providing some ammunition for what the astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson said: ”Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance.” Here, you will discover that you should be wary o...
  • Week 2 - Stop guessing!
    "Whenever you leave behind failure, that means you're doing better. If you think everything you've done has been great, you're probably dumb." – Louis CK. Many social programs - such as efforts to reduce poverty or improve people’s health - are based on good...
  • Week 3 - Putting it all together
     
  • Week 4 - Yes but wait
     
  • Week 5 - Capstone
    You have watched many videos that we made on tackling global challenges with science. Now it’s time to create your own video on how you are going to tackle a global challenge with science.
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Instructors

  • Vera Schölmerich, PhD
    Erasmus University College, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University
  • Kellie Liket, PhD
    Impact Centre Erasmus (ICE) - Erasmus School of Economics
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Content designer

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus University: a top-100 ranked international research university based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our academic teaching and research focuses on four areas: health, wealth, culture and governance. Erasmus University Rotterdam: make it happen.
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Platform

Coursera

Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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