Jan 10-May 04, 2018
Credit: 3 undergraduate
Instructor(s): John Townsend-Mehler

Course Description

In this seminar, we will engage with texts (and films) that are ostensibly about science in the broad sense, but more specifically deal with how science and the products of science influence our perceptions of ourselves and our place in the universe..

This course fulfills the University Studies (US) piece of the Montana State University CORE Curriculum or 3 credits of the humanities degree requirement in Liberal Studies.

Meeting Place and Times



John Townsend-Mehler.

Dr. Townsend-Mehler earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Montana State University in 2001, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Zoology and Evolutionary Biology from Michigan State University in 2010, with a specialization in Cognitive Science. His research interests include both foraging behavior and decision-making in social insects as well as science education (in humans). He began developing and teaching online courses in 2011.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table below:

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Required Books/Materials

  • The Most Human Human
    Author: Brian Christian (2012)
    ISBN: 9780307476708
    Price: approx.$13
  • Song of Two Worlds
    Author: Alan Lightman (2013)
    ISBN: 9781597090322
    Price: approx. $15
  • Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind
    Author: David Quammen (2004)
    ISBN: 9780393326093
    Price: approx. $15
  • Contact
    Author: Carl Sagan (1985)
    ISBN: 9780671004101
    Price: approx. $6.40
  • Frankenstein
    Author: Mary Shelley (1818)
    ISBN: 9780486282114
    Price: approx.$4.80
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    Author: Rebecca Skloot (2011)
    ISBN: 9781400052189
    Price: approx. $13

Available from online retailers and from the MSU bookstore.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

For More Information

For course information: Please contact John Townsend-Mehler at

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.