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Darwin, Dawkins and Divinity - The Conflict between Science and Religion/R.S. Callow
The aims of this course are to explore the evidence and reasoning behind the theory of evolution,
as advanced by Charles Darwin, and to consider their implications for our understanding of science
and religion, as outlined by Richard Dawkins.
The Life and Work of Charles Darwin/ R.S. Callow
Charles Darwin was one of the most famous scientists of the modern era. His theory of evolution
by natural selection is widely accepted amongst scientists who continue to gather evidence in its support.
This course will probe the nature of the man and consider how it influenced his approach to the gathering
and interpretation of evidence.
Voyages of Biological Discovery/R.S. Callow
From the sixteenth century onwards, naturalists began to accompany maritime explorers and to return to
Europe with ever greater collections of specimens of animals and plants. These collections astounded
those back home. This course will explore the way in which this story unfolded, from maritime
experience to philosophical deduction and commercial exploitation.
Principles of Genetics/R.S. Callow
Genetics is the discipline devoted to the investigation of heredity and variation. In less than one hundred
and fifty years, it has transformed our understanding of the origin and continuity of life and enabled us to
support human society: through improvements in agriculture, forensics and medicine. We shall examine
each of these areas in turn.
Genetically Modified Food - What's the Gripe?/R.S. Callow
This course will examine the modes of genetic modification and the implications of genetically modified
food for human society. We shall begin with an examination of the genetic material and then consider how
the modification of our food has shaped human history and is likely to determine human survival.
Rushes, Sedges and Grasses/R.S. Callow
Rushes, sedges and grasses resemble each other sufficiently to have given rise to erroneous common
names; both ‘cotton-grass’ and ‘club-rush’ are sedges! Close inspection shows the resemblance
to be superficial. This day-school will explore the distinctions between these three families and the pathways
of divergence within each of them. It will also provide guidance in identification.
The Genetics of Garden Plants/R.S. Callow
Do you want to get more fun out of the plants in your garden? The science of Genetics, which investigates
patterns of heredity and variation, began with Mendel’s study of Garden Peas. It now permeates all aspects
of human life and all areas of the garden. This short course will examine how this remarkable situation
came about and how it benefits the gardener.
Identification of Highland Plants/R.S. Callow
If you wish to be able to confidently identify a plant, without its picture, this course is for you. Formal identification
will be demonstrated in the laboratory and a series of short excursions will allow these skills to be put into practice
in the field.
Plant Communities of the Scottish Highlands/R.S. Callow
This course provides an opportunity to visit some of the finest botanical sites in Britain, amongst the lochs and
mountains of Perthshire in mid-summer. Some familiarity with our native plants would be an asset.
Europe in the Age of Imperialism (1870-1914)/ Andrew Jones, Martin Jervis, Chris Makepeace, Alan Sennett
Major topics will include the Third French Republic; the final decades of Tsarist Russia & Germany under Bismarck
and Kaiser William II. We shall also consider the rise of the Socialist movement in Europe. Focussing on Manchester,
we shall look at the development of engineering and the construction of the Ship Canal.
The Soviet Union on Film: Cinema, Politics and Society, 1917-1945/ Alan Sennett
Lenin said that cinema was "the most important of all the arts". This ten week course looks at politics and society
in the Soviet Union from the Revolution to World War Two using illustrations from Russian cinema. We make use of clips of from
documentary and feature films, including the work of the masters of Russian cinema, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Dovzhenko, and Vertov.
Novels of Far Away: A Discussion Group led by Creina Mansfield and Barry Wood
Creina Mansfield is a writer and teacher of English Literature, with a special interest in the Novel and narratology. She has recently presented a ten week course 'Aspects of the Novel' . Barry Wood, who will take the second session, has taught modern literature for many years, writes on modern poetry and translation for PN Review and is currently honorary fellow in The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.