Graduate Course Announcement: Broader Impacts of Science on Society

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 3:51pm -- suking

Dr. Bruce J. MacFadden, Distinguished Professor and Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, and Dr. David L. Reed, Professor and Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, have announced a Graduate Course entitled “Broader Impacts of Science on Society.”

Drs. MacFadden and Reed will instruct the course, which addresses the increasing emphasis on the relevance of what scientists do and how they impact society in general.  For example, NSF now requires “Broader Impact” statements in grant proposals and explicit plans for how these kinds of activities will be accomplished. This course will explore ways in which scientists can increase their impact to society at large. During this seminar-format course, students will engage in active participation, discussion, and dialog via blended learning. The beginning of the course will feature presentations by the instructors and invited/remote speakers and preparations for the class project(s). Students’ interests and individual projects will primarily drive the remainder of the course.

Learning Goal Statement:

Participants will learn about the history, theory, relevance, and best practices of broader impacts and related activities through a participatory blended learning environment.

Intended participants:

  • Graduate students from any STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline, including (but not limited to) anthropology, astronomy, botany, entomology, geology, science education, wildlife, and zoology.
  • Advanced undergraduates.
  • Instructors and invited speakers; remote participants (via Adobe Connect)

Course prerequisites: 

Graduate student status (other with instructors’ permission)

Class size:

Limited to 30 registered students

Readings and assignments:

There is no text for this course. Weekly assignments include readings, mostly from the primary literature, web research, on-line dialog, and class discussion/presentations.


The final course grade will be based on:

  1. In-class (and/or remote, real-time) participation, including submitting written questions and leading discussions of assigned readings (40%);
  2. asynchronous, on line participation via social media (30%); and
  3. development and presentation of either a proposed Broader Impacts plan related to your STEM research, or a group project to be developed during the semester (30%).

Important information to note:

ZOO 6927 (sect. 2B56) and BOT 6935 (sect. 2B57), Fall 2014
Note: This may also be cross-listed in another department [TBD] and as an undergraduate course.

Tuesdays - Building 105, 3rd floor Conference Room (Room 310) or via Adobe Connect (link to be announced later)
Periods 6 & 7 (12:50 to 2:45 pm), 2 credits
First class 26 August; last class 9 December