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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse 12 Essential Scientific Concepts for an
excellent description of the basic concepts of science starting with
evolution, genetics, the brain and how the brain works,
all the way to the big bang and quantum mechanics
and how simple rules can create complex systems.

12 Essential Scientific Concepts
Lectures by Indre Viskontas

12 Essential Scientific Concepts (2010) - 24 lectures, 12 hours
12 Essential Scientific Concepts at TheGreatCourses.com

Cosmology. Neurology. Genetics. Chemistry. These are just a few of many fascinating branches of the scientific world ripe for exploration. But because science is such a vast arena of knowledge, people looking for a better grasp of its secrets often wonder where to begin. The answer: with the essentials.

Science's most vital concepts and ideas - some of which have been around for centuries, others of which we've only uncovered in recent decades - make the perfect starting point for a deeper dive into regions of the scientific world you've long wanted to take a closer look at. Whether it's evolution, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, or the nature of matter, these and other eye-opening concepts are all connected by the profound role they play in our everyday lives and in our larger understanding of the world.

By narrowing your approach to the expansiveness of science and drilling down to some of its essentials, you'll:

  • grasp the true nature, challenge, and excitement of scientific inquiry;
  • shed light on the scientific marvels of today and tomorrow, from nanotechnology to artificial intelligence;
  • develop a solid foundation of knowledge that will put more advanced areas of science within your reach; and
  • enhance your sense of wonder at the hidden marvels of everything from driving to work to creating new memories.

With 12 Essential Scientific Concepts, you can finally satisfy your desire for scientific inquiry in a way that makes this enormous field accessible, understandable, and undeniably captivating. Indre Viskontas, an award-winning cognitive neuroscientist affiliated with the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco, has a knack for making hard science clear to laypeople. She boils down the scientific world into 12 key concepts every educated person should know. Devoting two lectures to each concept to give you more time to engage with it, her 24-lecture course is your introduction to everything from the behavior of subatomic particles to the latest theories about the Big Bang. Concepts that may have eluded you in school, that you may not be familiar with, or that you simply never appreciated for their intricate beauty are now brought to vivid life in a way that sticks. Welcome to the world of science - reduced to its powerful essence.

Professor Indre Viskontas is a Cognitive Neuroscience Affiliate at the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, she is a member of the collegiate faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Profess Viskontas has published more than 35 book chapters and papers related to the neural basis of memory and creativity. Defying traditional career boundaries, she also performs as an opera singer. She currently cohosts Inquiring Minds, a popular science podcast.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: The Miracle of Life 13: Thermodynamics - Heat, Energy, and Work
2: The Organization of Life 14: Metabolism - Energy in the Cell
3: Evolution - The Tireless Tinkerer 15: Fluid Mechanics - Pressure, Buoyancy, Flow
4: Other Mechanisms of Evolution 16: Navigation and Propulsion in Fluids
5: DNA and Heritability 17: The Big Bang That Didn't
6: Epigenetics, Mutations, and Gene Insertion 18: The Four Forces of Nature
7: The Illusion of Coherence - How We See 19: The Elements of Everything
8: Acoustic Perception Deconstructed 20: Looks like a Particle, Acts like a Wave
9: Our Changing Brain 21: Quanta, Uncertainty, and a Cat
10: Plasticity, Brain Training, and Beyond 22: String Theory, Membranes, and the Multiverse
11: Magnetism and Its Magic 23: Emergence - Simple Rules, Complex Systems
12: Electrical Forces, Fields, and Circuits 24: Order out of Chaos


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12 Essential Scientific Concepts
Lectures by Indre Viskontas

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse 12 Essential Scientific Concepts for an
excellent description of the basic concepts of science starting with
evolution, genetics, the brain and how the brain works,
all the way to the big bang and quantum mechanics
and how simple rules can create complex systems.