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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Wonders and Worth of Science

In April 2013, President Obama announced that the government would spend $100 million on a detailed map of the human brain and how its neurons interact, and a the US have already spent $175,587 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behaviour”. Is scientific research really worth the money governments are willing to provide? A report from fiscal years 2008 through 2012 revealed that the US government spent $68.4 billion to combat climate change, not counting the additional $4 billion provided by the Department of Defence, and so far there seem to have been very few advancements. The future looks just as strange; plans are in motion to spend $500 million on a program to solve the problem of 5-year-old children that “can’t sit still” in primary school.

What is Science worth?

The socio-economics of what science is worth will be discussed in this module, as will the ethics and controversies surrounding scientific breakthrough. Throughout this module you will learn of recent ground breaking discoveries and technologies, and discuss whether it was all worth it. This module has no agenda, it is purely a forum for scientific discussion, to learn the miracles and catastrophes of science and decide for yourselves whether investing such ridiculous amounts of money into research and development is worthwhile.

To help you decide we shall encounter the controversies of topics such as medical testing and ethics, space flight, technology and biodiversity, with visits to laboratories on campus for first hand demonstrations on what science can provide.


Date: Tuesday 28 April

Time: 19.00-21.00

Duration: 6 weeks

Location: Avenue Campus




Booking is completed through the Online Store, please click here to book your place.



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