Postsecondary Learning

Navigating B.S. Might Soon Be A College-Level Course

Jan 19, 2017

BULL S%#@ COURSES: There’s a lot of bologna flying around these days—from politicians spewing off fallacies to the companies and advertisers selling misinformation to us everyday. Two professors at the University of Washington—Carl T. Bergstrom (Department of Biology) and Jevin West (Information School), have had enough. Their recourse: a class to help students identify and combat “the bullshit-rich modern environment.” Some of the learning objectives listed include:

  • Recognize said bullshit whenever and wherever you encounter it.
  • Provide a statistician or fellow scientist with a technical explanation of why a claim is bullshit.
  • Provide your crystals-and-homeopathy aunt or casually racist uncle with an accessible and persuasive explanation of why a claim is bullshit.

The course creators say the website is intended to be resource to be used in a class that currently awaiting approval from university administrators. According to a disclaimer on the course syllabus, “[Bergstrom and West] proposed this course for future inclusion in the course catalog at the University of Washington. At present, however, Calling Bullshit is not an official course, nor is it otherwise endorsed by the University of Washington.”

Postsecondary Learning

Navigating B.S. Might Soon Be A College-Level Course

Jan 19, 2017

BULL S%#@ COURSES: There’s a lot of bologna flying around these days—from politicians spewing off fallacies to the companies and advertisers selling misinformation to us everyday. Two professors at the University of Washington—Carl T. Bergstrom (Department of Biology) and Jevin West (Information School), have had enough. Their recourse: a class to help students identify and combat “the bullshit-rich modern environment.” Some of the learning objectives listed include:

  • Recognize said bullshit whenever and wherever you encounter it.
  • Provide a statistician or fellow scientist with a technical explanation of why a claim is bullshit.
  • Provide your crystals-and-homeopathy aunt or casually racist uncle with an accessible and persuasive explanation of why a claim is bullshit.

The course creators say the website is intended to be resource to be used in a class that currently awaiting approval from university administrators. According to a disclaimer on the course syllabus, “[Bergstrom and West] proposed this course for future inclusion in the course catalog at the University of Washington. At present, however, Calling Bullshit is not an official course, nor is it otherwise endorsed by the University of Washington.”

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