UTM192H5 Thinking Badly


UTM192H5 Thinking Badly: Misinformation in the Information Age (SCI, HUM) 
Special Topics at the Intersection of Science and Humanities

This 0.5 credit course can be used to satisfy either your Science (SCI) or Humanities (HUM) distribution requirement. This course is offered in the Winter 2025 term (January-April).

While information has always been a critical part of human endeavour, the nature of its delivery has historically been managed at a pace that has permitted more accurate vetting of news. Today, we live in an age where everyone can access information (almost) immediately. With digital media as a key driver of information exchange, the amount of information is such that managing its flow is virtually impossible.  

By blending approaches from science and humanities, this course offers an engaging and interactive way to examine how information is gathered and delivered. This multi-disciplinary approach allows students to experience the relationship between the discipline that assesses and collects information (science) with the discipline that is responsible for communicating it to the world at large (humanities). The focus will be on not only how science news might be manipulated by those outside the discipline, but also how the scientific community can be held responsible for sowing the doubt and mistrust that contributes to the widely held belief that scientists lie to achieve some manipulative agenda. Through a series of case studies and discussion points, students will examine issues with scientific discourse and how the news media has exacerbated growing public mistrust. In effect, students will have a chance to explore some of society’s most pressing issues (e.g., climate change, medical communication) and apply them to their own research, thus immersing each student in these discussions and positioning them as contributors who can help resolve these problems. 

This course offers students the chance to:

  • Unveil the enigmatic world of peer review and its inherent biases.
  • Delve into the perplexing phenomenon of human choice, where even in the face of irrefutable scientific truths, the misguided path is often taken.
  • If you have ever pondered the origins of contentious divides, this course is for you!

This utmONE Scholars first-year seminar is taught by:

Photo of Michael deBraga

Dr. Michael deBraga, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy

How to Apply to UTM192H5: Thinking Badly - Misinformation in the Information Age

Students who receive an email invitation are eligible to apply. Invitations are sent on a rolling basis starting in May to early June. In the application form, you will have the opportunity to provide application answers for both your first and second choice of utmONE Scholars seminar. Please be sure to read our FAQ section.

Apply for UTM192H5 Thinking Badly: Misinformation in the Information Age