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Re-thinking Health Science


Rethinking Health Science is inspired by events like the Covid pandemic to ask questions about how we all think - and should think - about aspects of the theory and practice of health and medical sciences. It is an opportunity for any undergraduates (from their 2nd year) who are interested in thinking through some fascinating but complex questions. Questions such as: how do health and medical sciences relate to wider society? Viewed as a group of disciplines, how do health and medical sciences relate to other disciplines (e.g. in terms of what constitutes evidence and justification)? Viewed as a group of skilled and specialist activities with correspondingly specialised knowledge, how might scientific research (e.g. regarding a new disease) be most effectively communicated to the public?


Drawing on philosophy of science and life sciences, the module will cover some more conceptual, theoretical content (e.g. causation, reductionism, objectivity) and some more applied content (e.g. communicating science, science and authority, collaboration and peer review).


The module aims to:


- Enable students to understand how social, intellectual and cultural movements have impacted upon the life sciences and medicine and vice versa

- Facilitate critical consideration of specific concepts and practices relevant to science and medicine (e.g. the concepts of disease, cause, and evidence, and the practice of peer review)

- Facilitate critical consideration of the benefits and limitations of science and medicine.


The module is assessed by means of an individual Student Devised Assessment (70%) and a Group Presentation (30%).

Coronary Heart Disease: A Study on Reductionism in Medicine

by Mariam Ogunbadejo