(Archived on December 6th, 2017)
Check out the #asic200 twitter feed! Lots of good stuff here.
The final Exam is on 12pm, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 and held in WOOD 5. The exam will be 2 hours long, about 1 hour of which will cover science material, and the other hour covering social science.
Science! – (last year’s science exam questions)
– Basically the written notes for the science videos hold the core content that is examinable (links to these notes are below).
– ASIC 200 Climate Change Science content (written notes).
– Ability to comprehend text from the IPCC policy summary (physical basis), but no need to memorize any of this (link to this AR5 summary pdf)
– ASIC 200 Genomic Science content (written notes).
– Replication in particular (see video 3), but also these notes, if you prefer reading.
– Note that the technical content for the in-class science lecture for genomics is not required (see this pdf+slides), but a general appreciation for the general trends in genetic technology development may be useful, esp for social science related questioning. Same holds for the PCR lab stuff.
Arts! – (slides from last day class – last year’s exam questions)
– All of the arts Climate Change and Genomics videos (see here – note that there are no written notes available).
– Readings are important for these sections! Make sure you’re familiar with them. The other types of media (podcasts, videos, etc) tend to be really useful for context (often presented in a way that is much more engaging), but Allen’s exam questions will occasionally require some highlighting of key ideas in written references.
– You must be familiar with the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement (notes | slides).
– You must be familiar with the challenges genomic science represents for individuals and groups (notes | slides).
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PCR data for ASIC200
Data is presented below. Look for your sample number and corresponding well on the gel. I’ve also noted the genotype as I’ve read it (just below the lane), although there are a few where it’s tricky to know for sure (these, I’ve used the “?”)
Note: this link goes over the lab content if you’d like a reminder of what it is you’re looking at exactly.
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Session 9 + 10: (Mar. 9 + 16) LAB (Note that these two sessions 9, and 10 involve a rotating lab section – i.e. only half of the class will be doing the lab on a particular day, whereas the other parts of the class will use the time to dedicate on their RPG assignment)
- Lab Group I (or II) – doing the PCR lab: The content covered in the lab is not examinable. Here are some notes in case you’d like to revisit what we did. Note that your data should be available in about a week or so. As well, here is the reflection assignment for this lab (it is due by the thursday after your lab via email):THE PCR LAB was intended to show you how molecular biology is, at its heart, fairly straightforward to do (see this below for information about the lab – lecture, etc), whilst being capable of generating some very weighty data. For this lab commentary, I’d like you to comment on the two queries presented below. You can write informally if you’d prefer, but we are looking for a relatively well thought out response (somewhere in the 300 to 500 word range for each). Ideas are strongly encouraged. Please send your answer to ASIC200@gmail.com (please use “PCR” as the subject heading). We’ll do our best to reply to confirm receiving your email, but you may actually just receive your mark a week or so after you submit. Note that this assignment is due by 11:59pm on the next thursday after your lab (note that one need not fully get the mechanics of PCR to do this assignment).1. It was important to stress that the experiment we did in the genetics lab aimed at looking for a genetic element with no real consequence. However, the methodology (PCR) can very easily be adapted to look at something of significant consequence – i.e. a diagnosis of a genetic disorder like Huntingtons (a fatal and nasty neurodegenerative disease). What type of ethical situations come to mind when an individual is put in the position of getting one of these genetic tests done.2. If the opportunity presented itself, would you get one of these tests done? Why or why not?
- Future Worlds Project Team Meeting (meetings during labs devoted to developing a playable game)
- Generate a draft of your scenario script, characters, skills, professions, capacities, abilities, special tools and equipment) etc
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Session 8: (Mar. 2) Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project Second Team Meeting (Second solo assignment hand in before class – physical copy)
- Second full class session to lock in elements for your group as defined by the parameters in your second solo assignment. Final edit of your 500 word backstory for your adventure narrative.
Note that during the next three weeks, you’ll be working on your scenario/game narrative (as a group). We’ll also fit in a DNA lab here. Attendance of the lab is mandatory (there’s also a reflective essay involved for marks). It’s also a good idea to re-read the piece on replication before coming. Here’s the breakdown of when you’ll be doing the lab:
March 9th (next week): Team Israel, Cuba, Hawaii, Rio de Janeiro
March 16th: Team Alexandria, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Amsterdam
March 23rd: No lab – everyone working on game.
March 28th: Your game is due: hand in via firstname.lastname@example.org
March 30th: Game day!
April 6th: Last class – general Q&A, and exam prep time.
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IMPORTANT: Note that the Second solo assignment is due (physical copy) to be handed in just before the start of the Mar 2 class. Full details on this assignment can be found at this link.
Do not forget that you will work independently on this assignment, where you will be building from your group discussion of the physical features agreed upon from your solo 1 assignment parameters (i.e. the stuff you worked on during the Feb 2nd class). For this solo 2 assignment, you are totally encouraged to be creative with your projections, all the while still making sure that your narratives and rationale are still firmly grounded in current evidence based information sources. During this next class (March 2nd, after the midterm break), you will also bring an extra copy of your solo 2 assignment and reconvene with your groups to discuss agreed upon details for the solo 2 parameters of your future world.
As a heads up, this second assignment is a little trickier than the first one, mainly because the first one was primarily dependent on finding only a modestly small number of good references/citations for your information. This second assignment, however, is covering themes around humanities (as well as small section on genetics) and as such, will involve a more diverse range of literature research. Do check out the page that lists examples of the types of resources that may be useful. Do also look closely at the marking rubric – we found that students that pretty much followed this in the last assignment did really well. Both of these resources can be found in the solo #2 assignment main page.
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Session 7: (Feb. 16) Personal Genomics Social Sciences and Humanities
- Personal Genomics and the Social Sciences and Humanities. Allen’s notes and slides.
Note that there were a lot of cool questions during the break, so Allen and I will make sure to program some time dedicated to questions on the genomics unit in a future class session.
- Continue the game from last class (pdf copy of the Tiger Joe campaign).
You’ll note that when we played, we adjusted the scenes accordingly due to length of time to coordinate a “class” playing. Normally, games are played where one person is role playing one character, so things would tend to be a lot less chaotic, a bit faster paced, and definitely where collaboration and discussion between characters is more easily facilitated.
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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Feb 16:
- Personal Genomics Social Science and Humanities Videos Part 1 to 7. https://myasic200.wordpress.com/video-lectures/
- Reading One: Emily Christofides and Kieran O’Doherty, “Company Disclosure and Consumer Perceptions of the privacy implications of direct-to-consumer genetic testing,” New Genetics and Society, 35:2 (2016). Available at: http://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/toc/cngs20/35/2?nav=tocList
- Reading Two: Tracey Hampton, “Ethical and Societal Questions Loom Large as Gene Editing Moves Closer to the Clinic.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 315:6 (9 February 2016). Available at:
- Reading Three: S. Olson, ed., “International Summit on Human Gene Editing: A Global Discussion,” Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; Policy and Global Affairs; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Washington (DC): 2016. Available at:
- Fox, K. (TED video: 2016, Jul 15) Why genetic research must be more diverse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C44r6knuJtU
- Harris, R. (2016, August 17). Study of sudden cardiac death exposes limits of genetic testing.National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/17/490386306/study-of-sudden-cardiac-death-exposes-limits-of-genetic-testing
- Stein, R. (2016, Sept.22). Breaking Taboo, Swedish Scientist Seeks to Edit DNA of Healthy Human Embryos. National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/22/494591738/breaking-taboo-swedish-scientist-seeks-to-edit-dna-of-healthy-human-embryos
- Harris, M. (2016, Oct.31). Would You Want to Know The Secrets Hidden in Your Baby’s Genes? National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/27/499651062/would-you-want-to-know-the-secrets-hidden-in-your-babys-genes
- Stein, R. (2016, Feb 3). Baby With Genes From 3 Parents Could Be Ethical, Panel Says. National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/02/03/465319186/babies-with-genes-from-three-people-could-be-ethical-panel-says
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Session 6: (Feb. 9) Personal Genomics Science II
Note this material requires familiarity but not memorization. i.e. whilst terms like CRISPR and Human Genome Project may come up in the exam, your memorization of the technical details of the material presented will not be required. Some of the details, however, may be inherently useful for your future projection game design purposes.
- Personal Genomics and the Physical and Life Sciences (new developments!) – Dave’s notes and slides.
The Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project: Introduction to universal mechanic (in which we will start playing an RPG game in class!) – we’ll be continuing this in the next class.
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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Feb 9: Genomics unit starts!
- Personal Genomics Science Videos Parts 1 to 4. https://myasic200.wordpress.com/video-lectures/ (notes)
- “A Monk’s Flourishing Garden: The Basics of Molecular Biology Explained” The Science Creative Quarterly. Available at: http://www.scq.ubc.ca/a-monks-flourishing-garden-the-basics-of-molecular-biology-explained/
- “Breakfast of Champions does Replication” The Science Creative Quarterly. Available at: http://www.scq.ubc.ca/breakfast-of-champions-does-replication/
- Kiel, M. (TED-ed video, 2013) How to sequence the human genome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvuYATh7Y74
- Offord, C. (The Scientist, Oct 2016) DNA Sequencing: From Tedious to Automatic. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47153/title/DNA-Sequencing–From-Tedious-to-Automatic/
- Pollack, A. (New York Times, May 2015) Jennifer Doudna, a Pioneer Who Helped Simplify Genome Editing – especially the “Breaking the Chain” graphic. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/science/jennifer-doudna-crispr-cas9-genetic-engineering.html
- Jorgensen, E. (TED video, 2015) What you need to know about CRISPR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BXYSGepx7Q
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Session 5: (Feb. 2) Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project First Team Meeting (First solo assignment hand in before class – physical copy. Bring extra copy for use in class)
- Group based World Building (using solo #1 rubric): year; climate conditions; geography; energy; transportation; resource scarcity; environmental stresses; social stresses; the human condition by region; global governance. As a group, you’ll need to lock in these elements for your group assignment, as well as start a good first or second edit of a 500 word backstory for your adventure module. This is due (but not marked) for Feb 9 via google doc sharing to email@example.com
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Solo #1 assignment due on Feb 2nd (in class)
A physical copy of the first solo assignment is to be handed in before or at the start of class. Bring extra copy for use in class, as you will be discussing as a group what your collective physical locale will entail). As mentioned in class, it’s a good idea to take a thorough look at the details on this assignment presented at this link.
Note: we’ve had a few questions about format for the Solo assignment. As mentioned in class: (1) assignment is best written using the same headings/sub headings as those outlined (this also allows you to follow the marking rubric); (2) citations should be done with some sort of standardized format (APA for example); and (3) our TAs would appreciate if your citations are inserted at the end of each heading/sub heading section (as oppose to a big list of all of them at the end of the document). No particular font or font size has been outlined, and word count is only a minimum guideline (you can write a bit more if you prefer).
More open D&D sessions a la Harry Potter on:
Monday, Jan 30th, 5pm to 7ish (Players*: Bahar, Victoria,) CANCELED
Thursday, Feb 2nd, 4pm to 6ish (Players*: Charlotte,) CANCELED
If you’re interested, email dave (db at mail dot ubc dot ca). I can have about 6/7 players maximum per session. First come, first served.
* so far…
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Session 4: (Jan. 26) Climate Change Arts II (Simulation Reflection Due)
- Climate Change and the Social Science and Humanities (slides | notes)
- Interactive Q&A Session: Climate change and the future, Q&A
- Sample climate change exam questions (dave | allen-see below)
“Describe the commitments made by the Annex 1 state signatories in the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. Develop an argument explaining the failure of Annex I parties to reach these commitments at a state and global level. Does the Paris Agreement offer a better chance to lower global greenhouse gas emissions? Why or why not?“
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Simulation Reflection assignment due on January 26th (via email firstname.lastname@example.org, use subject heading “Copenhagen”) – Instructions for the reflection piece on the simulation can be found on the last page of the Copenhagen general instruction sheet (pdf). Please hand in a hardcopy of your reflection at the beginning of class.
D&D session a la Harry Potter on:
Tuesday, January 24th, 5pm to 7ish. (Players: Yuko, Gordon, Jessy, Allecia, Eleanor, Megan)
Wednesday, January 25th, 4pm to 6ish.
Thursday, January 26th, 4pm to 6ish. (Players: Alexandra, Alexis, Bailey, Ciara, Ela, Vanessa – we can take one more)
Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 26:
- Reading One: Jeff Tollefson and Kenneth R. Weiss, “Nations approve historic global climate accord,” Nature, Vol 528, Issue 7582 (12 December 2015). Available at: http://www.nature.com/news/nations-approve-historic-global-climate-accord-1.19021
- Reading Two: Peter Christoff, “The Promissory Note: COP 21 and the Paris Climate Agreement.” Environmental Politics, 25:5 (2016). Available at: http://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/doi/full/10.1080/09644016.2016.1191818
- Reading Three: Matthew J. Hornsey, et. al., “Meta-analyses of the determinants and outcomes of belief in climate change.” Nature Climate Change, 6 (June 2016). Available at: http://www.nature.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/nclimate/journal/v6/n6/full/nclimate2943.html
- Reading Four: Joshua Goldstein, “Climate change as a Global Security Issue.” Journal of Global Security Studies, 1:1 (2016). Available at: http://jogss.oxfordjournals.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/content/1/1/95
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Session 3: (Jan. 19) Climate Change Negotiation Simulation.
- The Copenhagen COP simulation
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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 19:
- All Climate Change Social Science and Humanities Videos Parts 1 to 9. https://myasic200.wordpress.com/video-lectures/
- Reading: Simulation preparation materials (to be circulated)
- Bambury, B. (Podcast: 2016, Sep.30) Facing the Change: How Rising Seas are Putting Richmond, B.C. at Risk. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/episode-305-peso-versus-trump-cubs-curse-w-p-kinsella-richmond-s-rising-seas-badgerow-trial-and-more-1.3782556/facing-the-change-how-rising-seas-are-putting-richmond-b-c-at-risk-1.3782566
- Joyce,C. (Podcast: 2016, May 24). Rising Seas Push Too Much Salt Into the Florida Everglades. National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2016/05/25/477014085/rising-seas-push-too-much-salt-into-the-florida-everglades
- Garcia-Navarro, L. (Podcast: 2016, Oct 16) Coffee and Climate Change: In Brazil, A Disaster Is Brewing. National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/10/12/497578413/coffee-and-climate-change-in-brazil-a-disaster-is-brewing
- Wendland, T. (Podcast: 2016, May 14) Native Americans’ Relocation from Louisiana Home: ‘First Climate Change Refugees.’ National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2016/05/14/478040492/native-americans-relocation-from-louisiana-home-first-climate-change-refugees
- Ludden, J. (Podcast: 2016, Aug 18) Should We Be Having Kids In The Age of Climate Change? National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2016/08/18/479349760/should-we-be-having-kids-in-the-age-of-climate-change
- NPR/TED (Podcast: 2016, May 6) Are There Reasons to Be Optimistic About Climate Change? National Public Radio. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2016/05/06/476620988/are-there-reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-climate-change
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Session 2: (Jan 12) Climate Change Science II
- Climate Change and the Physical and Life Sciences (an overview of IPCC report AR5, 2013), as well as more recent data. pdf of Dave’s slides.
- Introduction to the Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project: Detailed description and sypnosis of this game-base learning assignment (also at this link). Activity for each student – back story on a cue card, plus preferred city. From this, we will attempt to work out groups. (note first solo assignment due on Feb 2).
- Allen will introduce the Copenhagen simulation and assignment of country teams for next week. (pdf of simulation pre-read. Note that you will also receive a TOP SECRET country specific doc in class as well)
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Reading/Viewing/Listening to be completed before class on Jan 12:
- (For fun) this video to get a sense for how table top role playing games are played. Note there are more RPG related resources at this page (scroll down a bit).
- ASIC 200 Climate Change Science Videos parts 1 to 4. https://myasic200.wordpress.com/video-lectures/ (notes)
- Read the AR5 “Summary for Policymakers” located at: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WGIAR5_SPM_brochure_en.pdf
- Executive Summary, The Emissions Gap Report 2015. Executive Summary The United Nations Environment Program, 2015 (section 2 especially). Available at:
- Wilder, R. and Kammen, D.M. (2016, Oct.19). Exposed: The Climate Fallacy of 2100. Retrieved from: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/exposed-the-climate-fallacy-of-2100/
This blog post summarizes Clark, P.U., Shakun, J.D., Marcott, S.A., Mix, A.C., Eby, M., … Plattner, G-K. (2016). Consequences of Twenty-First-Century Policy for Multi-Millennial Climate and Sea-Level Change. Nature Climate Change 6: 360-369. Public policy and discourse. You can try taking a look at this paper, but note that this will be a lot more technical than the level covered in this course.
- Von Kaenel, C. (2016, Mar. 16). Antarctica Meltdown Could Double Sea Level Rise. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antarctica-meltdown-could-double-sea-level-rise/
This blog posts summarizes DeConto, R.M., and Pollard, D. (2016). Contribution of Antarctica to Past and Future Sea-Level Rise. Nature 531: 591-597. Again, you can try taking a look at this paper, but note that this will be a lot more technical than the level covered in this course.
- Kahn, B. (2016, Sep.26). The World Passes 400ppm Carbon Dioxide Threshold. Permanently. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/28/the-world-passes-400ppm-carbon-dioxide-threshold-permanently
- Carrington, D. (2016, Nov 14) 2016 will be the hottest year on record, UN says. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/14/2016-will-be-the-hottest-year-on-record-un-says
- Analysis: Only 5 years left before the 1.5C carbon budget is blown. (2016, May 19). Carbon Brief. Retrieved from https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-only-five-years-left-before-one-point-five-c-budget-is-blown
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January 5th (First class):
1. Introductions. See contact and outline pages for full details.
2. Global as a scientific, social science, and humanities concept. (Dave/Allen) – Allen’s slides/notes | Dave’s slides*
3. Meet and greet activity (yes, Sperm bank came up twice in class).
4. Game Base Learning Pre-survey – link
*Note that Dave’s lecture is not something that will come up in the exam. However, if you’re interested in following up on the tenets of my discussion of three facets of Public Understanding of Science academics, for the 1st bit (the method), check out this piece, and for the 3rd (that science is a form of culture), check out this recent piece at Vox (as well as the Dan Kahan link in the graph slide).
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December 2016 (a.k.a before class):
1. If you don’t already have one, you can open a twitter account (this is optional but we’ll be posting interesting links throughout the term using the hashtag #ASIC200 – we hope you will do the same).
2. Buy some Dungeons and Dragon die (this is optional). Local shops: i, ii, iii
3. Look over the course outline.
4. Familiarize yourself with your instructors. Allen and Dave.