Students in the Science & Culture RAP will have an opportunity to take a close look at how science and technology influence our experiences. Whether through the lens of food science or comparative literature (two options available), students will explore the many effects scientific progress has had on the modern world. This RAP is a good choice for students who are either declared or interested in a variety of science majors.
Through class discussion and conversation, students will have an opportunity to explore the impact science has had on their own lives, and discover new opinions and viewpoints. These conversations can grow and evolve outside of the classroom as students make deeper connections through programs and events that are offered through the residence hall and by our programming partners.
This RAP is offered in two locations - each with a different associated course - see specific course and location information below!
Read what Fall 2021 instructor Helen Lin has to say about the course:
Food plays a prominent role in each of our daily lives, yet most of us have little if any understanding of the “science” behind our food. At the same time, we live in a throwaway culture that does not value our abundant food supply. The disconnect between individuals and the food we eat can be seen in the troubling statistic that shows Americans waste 40% of all food produced in the United States. This course will explore our understanding of food in our everyday lives and the science behind maintenance of a high quality food supply for our society.
Food safety and dietary concerns add to the confusion of how to successfully navigate and interpret the various labeling and regulatory guidelines. We will examine how our society addresses these issues from a chemical, biochemical, microbial and regulatory point of view to ensure an adequate and wholesome food supply is maintained for all. Through critical thinking and engaging class discussions, a range of topics will be explored and critiqued. These topics include:
Read what Fall 2021 instructor Elena Igartuburu Garcia has to say about the course:
Science fiction has become one of the most popular genres in contemporary culture in the United States and around the world. Science fiction comments on the present moment as it imagines alternative futures or universes. We will work to understand these works in their historical and geographical contexts, while also attempting to understand their relevance to our present day. In order to understand the scope of this genre, we will read and watch a series of short stories, films, and novels together with critical articles and theoretical texts.
This class is project- and discussion-based. That is, the class is divided in individual work, group discussions, and group projects. You will be expected to participate, both in person and online, and to work in small groups throughout the semester. For this reason, one of our main goals will be to create a learning community that allows for free and open conversation and thought. You will all be encouraged to share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, demonstrating that you are an engaged participant.
©2022 University of Massachusetts Amherst • Site Policies • Site Contact