This is the project module for the BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences. You will undertake an individual investigation of a topic within the area of natural sciences, such as: climate change; agriculture; biological conservation; nuclear power; or genetic engineering. You'll cover the underpinning science and place your chosen topic in its broad social context, analysing it in relation to communication, risk, ethics and decision-making. You'll need access to scientific literature, probably from electronic library sources. The study materials provide a guide to planning and conducting project work; help with searching and using the literature; and writing a report, but ultimately this is a chance for you to plan and execute a piece of work for yourself.
Many decisions and actions, both individual and collective, affect our environment; yet economic and political considerations often dominate. Defining environment to include biophysical, social, political, economic and other factors, this online module uses a systems framework to integrate environment with other elements when making environmental decisions in complex situations. You will explore a contemporary case of environmental decision making concerning fracking, as well as further examples from different parts of the world around water, energy, agriculture, forestry and climate change. You will also be able to consider an environmental decision-making situation of your own choosing, through the development of a project.
Soil is not just dirt but a living system with many important functions. Degraded soils impact on food production, erosion, and more, affecting the lives of people around the world. Restoration efforts in China, Zambia and other countries seek to reverse this trend.
Copyright: The Open University / Lord Woolston by Getty Images
On January 23rd, Milton Keynes celebrates 50 years as a new town. But the history of the villages which came together to form the heart of modern Milton Keynes reaches back far further - as this report of a meeting against the Anti Corn Law League in 1844 shows.