About this Course
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From William Harvey discovering the circulation of blood to Albert Einstein developing the theory of relativity: almost all scientific research starts from something odd and unexpected that hasn't been explained yet, and, subsequently, the scientist creatively imagining possible explanations for it, formulating hypotheses. However, the problem with formulating hypotheses is the "theory-ladenness of observation": ones expectations and background theories curtail and determine what one observes. The best way to reduce the negative consequences of theory-ladenness of observation as much as possible, is not by adopting the highest methodological standards, but by continuing to think outside the box throughout the problem solving process, by tirelessly, creatively imagining alternative explanations and hypotheses. In this learning experience you will be turned upside down by philosopher Tim de Mey, who will challenge you to think outside of your comfort zone. You will be challenged to reflect critically and creatively on what triggers your research, i.e., what is driving the scientist in you. Tim will show you how openness to and interaction with other disciplines generates new ideas, and how important it is that scientists, besides the possibilities of their own discipline, are also aware of its (and there) limitations. Take this challenge and you will construct the perfect out-of-the-box research question that will tease the Mind of the Universe scientists to explore even better answers in their research. This online learning experience is a spin-off of The Mind of the Universe documentary series created by the Dutch broadcasting company VPRO and professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, Princeton University. A number of universities in the Netherlands have used the open source material of the documentary series as a starting point to create similar experiences....
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 3-5 weeks of study, 1-2 hours per week

Approx. 11 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 3-5 weeks of study, 1-2 hours per week

Approx. 11 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

What's on your mind?

We will discuss how your imagination can help you in becoming a successful scientist and how you turn your wonder into a well-considered research question....
Reading
2 videos (Total 19 min), 2 readings
Video2 videos
Assignment 1a: get inspired by the research questions of the Mind of the Universe-scientists11m
Reading2 readings
Complete our survey10m
A journal of your thoughts10m

2

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Open up your mind

Now you know what's on your mind and created a research question, it is important to keep your mind open while working on possible explanations and contrasts. As you are about to learn in this week, it’s important to remain vigilant by continuing to use your imagination tirelessly....
Reading
4 videos (Total 26 min), 1 reading
Video4 videos
Assignment 2a: How do the Mind of the Universe scientists keep their mind open?13m
The Bridge Riddle1m
Solution to the Bridge Riddle1m
Reading1 reading
Solving riddles: Use your critical, creative thinking skills!10m

3

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Connect your mind

You now know what’s on your mind and how to keep your mind open. But how to continue? To keep alternative scenarios in mind, you will connect your mind to the minds of your peers. This will get you inspired by each other’s questions....
Reading
2 videos (Total 17 min)
Video2 videos
Assignment 3a: The Mind of the Universe-scientists and the role of interdisciplinarity9m

4

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Make up your mind

You're almost there, but not quite yet. You've put your wonder into a research question with the help of your interdisciplinary team. It is now time to finalize your research question. ...
Reading
1 video (Total 1 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video1 video
Reading2 readings
Check out the other Mind of the Universe Learning experiences10m
Complete our survey10m

Instructor

Tim De Mey

Dr.
Faculty of Philosophy

About Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University: a top-100 ranked international research university based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our academic teaching and research focuses on four areas: health, wealth, culture and governance. Erasmus University Rotterdam: make it happen. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.