Yesterday, in the first class session, I asked the students (in eight groups) to come up with the most important and interesting questions in science. It is an interesting exercise in its own right, but it also helps me decide what topics to cover.
The most important:
(1) What will we do when we run out of oil? (3 groups)
(2) How can we cure cancer? (4 groups)
(3) What is the meaning of life?
(4) How can we cure HIV and other fatal diseases?
(5) Global warming?
The most interesting:
(6) How long will humans last?
(7) What will cause our extinction?
(8) Is there life on other planets? (3 groups)
(9) Can humans be cloned?
(10) How do penguins find their mates again after 6 months apart?
(11) Can we colonize other planets?
(12) Is time travel possible?
(13) What is the future of American agriculture with GMOs?
(14) What is to be discovered under the sea?
(15) Are GMOs harmful?
(16) Are mermaids real?
And from my list of possible class topics
(17) Are animals gay?
(18) Are drugs better than teachers?
There is a lot of overlap with the questions identified by the Classes of 2012
. I think I can cover most of these topics in class, or get someone in who can. When #16 was raised I said all I have to say about it (no). Though I am shocked to discover mermaid outfits are available for babies. I love #3. Someone should figure that out.