Innovative Courses

The Schiller Institute regularly expands our course offerings to respond to pressing societal challenges. Our courses cover a wide range of topics and specializations—bringing together the sciences, humanties and the arts to discover new knowledge to serve the common good. 

The Schiller Institute co-sponors the Global Public Health and the Common Good Major and Minor. Visit the CSON site for details. 

Course Description

This interdisciplinary course for upper-level undergraduate students wil be co-taught by the Schiller Institute Core faculty members, Yi Ming, Hanqin Tian, and Jier Huang, with invited guest lecturers.

To borrow a line from A Tale of Two Cities, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Hardly a day goes by without headlines about climate change, environmental degradation, socioeconomic inequality and policy failure. Yet the aspirations for a just, sustainable society and the rapid development of new technologies in renewable energy and AI offer hopes and business opportunities. One thing for sure is that what we choose to do (or not to do) at this particular juncture of history is bound to have long-lasting implications for many generations to come. This interdisciplinary course, to be co-taught by the core faculty members of the Schiller Institute, will focus on the intersection of climate science, sustainable growth, green technology and policy actions. It is designed specifically to provide students with a comprehensive, yet in-depth overview of the complex interrelationships between these four key areas and how they may interact to shape the future of our planet.

The course is inspired partly by four recent Nobel Prizes (hence the title), which are in physics (2021), peace (2007), chemistry (2023) and economics (2018), and help anchor the main units. The first unit starts with an overview of the scientific evidence for climate change and its causes, as well as the current state of energy production, consumption and technology. In the second unit, students will then learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning to a more sustainable economy, nature-based solution to climate change. The third unit is devoted to state-of-art technology toward renewable energy. The fourth unit, composed mainly of a series of guest lectures, provides a review of the existing policy frameworks at local, national, and international levels, as well as the role of key actors such as governments, NGOs, industries and communities of faith.

Prerequisites: Math 1100 and 1101 or equivalent, one of following (or equivalent): Physics 2200, Chem 1109, Bio 2000 or 2010, EESC 2200

Cross-listing: EESC3020

Course Schedule

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30-11:45am in 245 Beacon Street, room 229

Course Description

This one-credit professional development course features entrepreneurs, leaders, and facilitators of entrepreneurial eco-sytems related to the Schiller Institute's three core areas: energy, environment, and health.

This course provides opportunities for students in any Boston College major to develop communication, business, and networking skills while having unique opportunities to connect with start-up leaders and innovators working on the cutting-edge of these fields.

Course Schedule

Thursdays, 3:00-4:30pm in 245 Beacon Street, room 215

Course Description

As part of the Schiller Institute's leadership of the BC@UNCOP programming, delegation selection, and administration, we offer a one-credit fall semester course that provides an academic overview of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) from a historical, political, and social perspective.

The course is required for student members of BC’s official delegation traveling to the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, and open to other interested students through departmental permission.

The fall 2024 version of this course will be facilitated by the two co-faculty leads for the COP29 delegation with guest faculty.

Course Schedule

Fridays, 12-1:30pm in 245 Beacon Street, room 230

Course Description

The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society is offering our community engaged course sequence again in the spring and summer 2024 semesters.

Throughout the course, students develop skills in:

  • Community-engaged collaboration
  • Project management
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Intercultural competency

The course is team-based with a small interdisciplinary group of students who were selected for the spring/summer course through an application process. The summer three week immersive includes projects in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Course Schedule

Spring: Fridays, 2:30-4:00 PM

Summer: May 24, 2024 to June 16, 2024

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