Science and its Neighbors

Richard Poss
Wednesdays 2 PM – 4 PM
July 12, 19, 26, August 2, and 9, 2023
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Science and its Neighbors

Summer 2023
In Session
2 PM – 4 PM
July 12, 19, 26, August 2, and 9, 2023


Main Campus



This seminar is a critical examination of the many areas which lie near science but which are not (for the most part) science, often called “marginal science” or “pseudoscience.” We will begin by examining scientific method and discovery science, falsifiability, and the nature of truth. Then each session will be devoted to a set of practices, asking questions like: Is it science? Is it valuable? Does it offer insights not otherwise available? Does it involve fraud, pretending to be scientific when it is not? Is it founded on a fallacy? Class sessions will be a combination of lecture and discussion.

Attend ON-CAMPUS or Online
— Hybrid Course Format —

  • All classes will be delivered on-campus and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • On-Campus classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All students enrolled to attend in person also have complete online access and may choose to attend one or all class sessions remotely if desired.
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real-time. A high-speed internet connection and a device capable of running Zoom are required to connect. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.
  • Class Recordings - All HSP classes are recorded and available for every enrolled student to watch for the duration of the course and one month after the last class session. This option is offered to aid students who cannot attend the live class times but desire to enroll and participate asynchronously. We hope this option also aids students who are traveling or have a necessary appointment that conflicts with a class session to stay connected and engaged with the course material.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, April 10, 2023, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • No textbook is required. All readings will be distributed to students electronically.

Meet Your Professor

Associate Professor
Department of Astronomy

Richard L Poss is an associate professor in the Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona, interested in the history of astronomy and relations between astronomy and culture. He teaches a variety of courses dealing with the intersection of astronomy with literature and the arts, and is a frequent contributor to the Humanities Seminars.

  • Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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