Reason for Hope
a web seminar based on the book by
DESCRIPTION: Web seminar based on the book "Reason for Hope" by Jane Goodall.
I've included this book as an option for people taking the web seminar in Bioethics & Environmental Conservation for several reasons. The book was suggested to me by a graduate student who was taking my last web seminar on Guns, Germs, and Steel. In our discussions on ethics, we naturally covered people's thoughts and feelings on animals and the natural world and our obligations to animals and other humans around the world. These class discussions are entirely valid because religious beliefs and religion has considerable potential to assist in environmental conservation, depending on the world view of a particular religion.
Also, some people seem to think that scientists must be without spirituality, viewing the world in cold, dispassionate, cause and effect terms only. I do admit to always being surprised when science students tell me that they don't believe in evolution. However, there is no conflict between science and spirituality. Indeed, there is no conflict between science and religion for many scientists.
How does one of the best known scientists of the natural world view religion and spirituality? What role have they played in her lifelong quest to understand the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa? These are some of the reasons I decided to include this book as an option to read and discuss in this course. But there is another reason.
Students who study various aspects of environmental conservation or conservation biology often become extremely depressed when they are faced with a comprehensive review of the state of the natural world. The problems seem too overwhelming. What can any individual do to make a difference?
Read this book to see how one leading scientist and conservationist finds "Reason for Hope".
SCHEDULE: Begins: 14 May; Ends by: 3 August, 2001.
FORMAT: Online and web-based (requires a computer with internet, email, and CD-ROM); Self-paced; Online discussions with classmates and instructor.
ASSIGNMENTS: Online discussion sessions and several short essays posted online for peer review and grading; no exams.
REGISTRATION: Natrs 419 or 519, section 1, variable 1-2 credits (i.e., 2 credits if additional seminar readings are completed - contact instructor). Register through the WSU Summer Session: (http://www.summer.wsu.edu). After you register, send a confirming email to the NRS summer session coordinator to receive additional course instructions: R.D. Sayler (email@example.com).
"Provocative...profound...Goodall simply and touchingly invites readers to follow
her spiritual footsteps."
New York Times Book Review