Spring 2020 - SCI 300 D100

Science and its Impact on Society (3)

Class Number: 3526

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby

    Th 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    AQ 3149, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2020
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units.



The impact of science in our society. This course introduces upper level university students to all facets of science and their resulting technologies. Governmental policies often involve far-reaching scientific/technological decisions and this course attempts to provide a scientific perspective to help achieve rational and effective policies. Not open to students in the Faculty of Science or the Schools of Computing Science, Engineering Science. Breadth-Science.


This course will provide you with an overview of science and technology. Science is the study of nature, while technology is the application of scientific knowledge to solve problems. Science and technology are increasingly governing our lives and may seem a complex maze. However, what appears to be a vastness of science is founded on relatively few fundamental recurring patterns (“laws”), which scientists have observed, articulated and compiled since ancient times. In this course, we will explore topics from science and technology, chosen to exemplify the elegant underlying patterns. We will explore scientific and technological concepts and applications. We will discuss and understand how these concepts and applications impact our daily lives.

The course material is divided into 8 units:

  1. Numbers, Measurements and Codes
  2. Matter and Waves
  3. Molecules
  4. Energy
  5. Global Warming and Pollution
  6. Electricity and Magnetism
  7. Cosmology
  8. Life


  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 50%
  • In-Class Work 10%
  • Project 20%


The project consists of a written essay and a 10 min presentation followed by a 5 min question period during tutorial. Both of these will be on the topic of the project, and each student will work on a different project.

Graded in-class work will occur mainly during tutorials and cover questions asked to tutorial presenters and participation during group exercises and discussions.



Classes will be recorded but students are expected to take notes in class and participate in in-class exercises.


Reading modules will be posted as we progress through the course. Other reading materials will be recommended as needed.


Recommended reading will depend on the topic chosen by each student for their project.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html