Scientific Thinking

Course Description

Lecturer: Johan Braeckman & Lieva Van Langenhove
University: UGent
Country: Belgium
Semester: 3
Contact/Study: 45/90

The aim of this course is to teach the students to think and act in a scientific and critical way, also outside their academic field of expertise. We start with theoretical introductory lessons, in which the principles of critical thinking are introduced and the various pitfalls of the human brain are explored. The students learn from examples why we are susceptible to irrational beliefs, and how intelligent people can make mistakes. Then they learn to apply the principles within the field and beyond in daily life. Techniques from statistics, logics, argumentation theory and probability theory are provided to support the thinking processes. Students learn to reflect on the fallibility of the human brain, acknowledging their own ignorance, and the importance of openness of mind.