SCNC1113 The Big History of Our Planet: A Scientific Perspective on Everything that has ever happened

Course Contents:

How did our universe begin and how might it end? How did our world evolve from different states in the past? How and where do humans fit in? How are different subject areas related to the past history of our world? If you are interested in these questions, then SCNC1113 The Big History of Our Planet: A Scientific Perspective on Everything that has ever happened is for you! 

SCNC1113 is a multi-disciplinary course that examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future. Instead of focusing solely on the history of humankind, SCNC1113 surveys the history of our world since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. It gives us a chance to reflect on how human history places within this context. As it goes through the different eras of our world's past, SCNC1113 naturally touches upon different disciplines of science and humanities, such as astronomy, biology, geography and history.  

Timeline Big History Overall Timeline
(Sources: The Big History Project https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home)  

Planet
(Via Wikimedia Commons)
History
(Via Wikimedia Commons)

The Big History course is pioneered by Professor David Christian at the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, out of a desire to go beyond specialized and self-contained fields of study to grasp history as a whole. In 2009 Professor Christian started collaborating with Mr. Bill Gates to promote the Big History to learners around the world (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/magazine/so-bill-gates-has-this-idea-for-a-history-class.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpSum&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1). Today the Big History is taught at tens of universities around the world. A public version of it has been available online (The Big History Project: https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home), and there will be a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Big History soon. The History Channel has also developed a TV series based on the idea of Big History (http://www.history.com/shows/big-history). In 2011, Professor Christian gave a TED talk on the Big History (https://www.ted.com/talks/david_christian_big_history), and so far his talk has received more than 5 million views. 

With the support of the Big History Institute and Professor Christian, the Faculty of Science is honoured to offer SCNC1113 The Big History of Our Planet: A Scientific Perspective on Everything that has ever happened in Semester 2 of 2017-18. 

Any Prerequisite for this Course?

 

This course will be open to students

  1. not in the BSc(6901) or BEd&BSc(6119) programmes, and
  2. with Level 3 or above in at least one science subject at the pre-university level (HKDSE Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Combined/Integrated Science or equivalent). 

How will I be assessed in this Course?

Students in this course should expect to be assessed by the following components (although there may be minor changes): 

Assignments (around three of them)

40%

Final Project

30%

Test

20%

Tutorial Participation

10%

More detailed description of this course can be found at: http://webapp.science.hku.hk/sr4/servlet/enquiry?Type=Course&course_code=SCNC1113