Organic Chemistry, Survival in the Twenty-first Century, and Rock 'n' Roll
This course will explore the diversity of natural and anthropogenic organic compounds as well as their molecular structure, physical properties, and biogeochemical dynamics. In lieu of standard textbooks on the subject of organic chemistry, all technical material will be contained in a series of detailed notes written by the facilitator which are to be published electronically. Each class meeting will consist of either a workshop or a field trip, and will be prefaced by facilitator-led discussions on topics such as industrialization, the environment, deciphering media jargon, and activism. The workshops will primarily consist of DIY projects which transform foraged and/or free materials into substances which meet important human needs. These projects will be designed to encourage human creativity, emphasize the importance of the scientific method, and will be necessarily tailored to the interests of the class. The field trips will be to businesses which exploit similar chemical phenomenon on a commercial scale for profit and/or the vested interests of the State. The course is not designed with the needs of aspiring professional scientists in mind, but rather with those of ordinary people who wish to better understand and respond to the world around them.
Unchemist holds undergraduate degrees in both music and chemistry, as well as a master's degree in the latter, and currently works on and publishes research in theoretical and environmental chemistry. Previous teaching experience includes working as a teaching assistant for general chemistry and organic chemistry laboratories at a large public research university near you.
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