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Graduate Level Courses

Graduate Seminar in Intercultural Communication

This is a pdf of a syllabus adapted from the one John Gastil used for a Spring 2009 graduate seminar at the University of Washington. This version includes a ten-week schedule, list of core readings, and assignments/learning goals. The syllabus also leaves considerable room for students to add their own readings on specific topics of interest. If you wish to teach a similar course, you can contact Gastil to discuss readings, assignments, etc.

The Science of Science Communication. 

The simple dissemination of valid scientific knowledge does not guarantee it will be recognized by nonexperts to whom it is of consequence. The science of science communication is an emerging, multidisciplinary field that investigates the processes that enable ordinary citizens to form beliefs consistent with the best available scientific evidence, the conditions that impede the formation of such beliefs, and the strategies that can be employed to avoid or ameliorate such conditions. This seminar will survey, and make a modest attempt to systematize, the growing body of work in this area. Special attention will be paid to identifying the distinctive communication dynamics of the diverse contexts in which nonexperts engage scientific information, including electoral politics, governmental policymaking, and personal health decision making. (Kahan; offered at Yale University in Spring 2013). Syllabus, readings, etc.


Undergraduate Level Courses

Intercultural Communication

This pdf is adapted from a syllabus John Gastil used for an Autumn 2009 undergraduate course at the University of Washington. It includes a set of learning goals, assignments, a ten-week (quarter) schedule of readings and discussion/review questions, and descriptions of two group projects--one on describing different cultural orientations and a second, larger project exploring the challenge and most effective means of intercultural communication. If you wish to teach a similar course, you can contact Gastil to discuss course ideas.


Law School Courses

Seminar on Neuroscience & Law

Neuroscience has made substantial recent advances in identifying regions of the brain associated with different aspects of decisionmaking and behavior. The goal of this seminar is to examine the significance of this research for law.  We will progress through a series of topics designed to acquaint us with the basic methods, assumptions, and findings to date of neuroscience and decisionmaking research; to familiarize ourselves with existing and developing criticisms of this line of work; and to explore its potential application in a variety of legal and regulatory domains. (Offered at Yale Law School, Fall 2009, Profs. Huang & Kahan) More information & readings

Law & Cognition. 

The goal of this seminar will be to deepen participants' understanding of how legal decisionmakers--particularly judges and juries--think. We will compile an in-depth catalog of empirically grounded frameworks, including ones founded in behavioral economics, social psychology, and political science; relate these to historical and contemporary jurisprudential perspectives, such as "formalism," "legal realism," and the "legal process school"; and develop critical understandings of the logic and presuppositions of pertinent forms of proof--controlled experiments, observational studies, and neuroscience imaging, among others. Students will write short response papers on weekly readings. (Kahan; offered at Harvard Law School in Fall 2011; Yale Law School in Fall 2015.) More information & readings