E3020 Soft-skills III - Scientific Thinking

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2022
Extent and Intensity
0/1/0. 1 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Taught in person.
Mgr. Peter Šebej, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Jakub Urík, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. RNDr. Jakub Hofman, Ph.D.
RECETOX - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: Mgr. Peter Šebej, Ph.D.
Supplier department: RECETOX - Faculty of Science
Timetable of Seminar Groups
E3020/01: Tue 8:00–8:50 D29/252-RCX1, P. Šebej, J. Urík
E3020/02: Wed 8:00–8:50 D29/252-RCX1, P. Šebej, J. Urík
High-school level of general knowledge. Attention of course E2020 or similar might be helpful. General interest in the science is an advantage.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of this course is to give an introduction to the concept ond metodology of scientific work. We will discuss the cornerstones of modern science: critical thinking, building of falsifiable hypotheses and their approval or disapproval. On the technical level we will work with theory of experimental work, produced data(sets), their analysis and commenting in a scientific text.
Learning outcomes
After successful course completion students will be able to:
- Orientate in science and scientific methodology.
- Suggest simple experiments which should generate relevant and reproducible data.
- Recognise common logical mistakes and fallacies and avoid them.
- Clearly argue an idea in written and spoken form.
  • 1. Introduction to the course, syllabus, requirements. Role of a university in education and science.
  • 2. What is and what is not science. Observation and experiment. Cumulative and self-corrective ability.
  • 3. History of critical and scientific thinking. Philosophical background of science.
  • 4. Cognitive bias, limits of human mind. Role of facts in science and everyday life. Dunning-Kruger effect, impostor syndrome and other examples of cognitive bias.
  • 5. Argument structure. Using arguments in communication. Dialogue, discussion, debate, polemic, propaganda. Examples of logical and argumantation fallacies.
  • 6. Analysis of argument structre using argument mapping.
  • 7. Moderated discussion on a given topic.
  • 8. Experimental scientific work – formulation of hypothesis, its verifiabiliy and falsifiability. Scientific metodology.
  • 9. Experiment and its planning, preparation and execution. Data collection, critical data processing, quality, error.
  • 10. Final competitive debate. Argumentative essay.
    recommended literature
  • KUHN, Thomas S. The structure of scientific revolutions. Edited by Ian Hacking. Fourth edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012. xlvi, 217. ISBN 9780226458113. info
  • POPPER, Karl R. Logika vědeckého bádání. Translated by J. C. B. Mohr. 1. vyd. Praha: Oikoymenh, 1997. 617 s. ISBN 8086005453. info
    not specified
  • SYNEK, Miloslav, Pavel MIKAN and Hana VÁVROVÁ. Jak psát bakalářské, diplomové, doktorské a jiné písemné práce. 3., přeprac. vyd. Praha: Oeconomica, 2011. 61, [8]. ISBN 9788024518190. info
  • BRADBURY, Andrew. Jak úspěšně prezentovat a přesvědčit. 2. vyd. Brno: Computer Press, 2007. viii, 109. ISBN 9788025116227. info
  • KOHOUT, Jaroslav. Rétorika : umění mluvit a jednat s lidmi. 4. dopl. vyd. Praha: Management Press, 2002. 169 s. ISBN 8072610724. info
  • POPPER, Karl R. The logic of scientific discovery. London: Routledge, 2001. 479 s. ISBN 041507892X. info
  • The demon-haunted world : science as a candle in the dark. Edited by Carl Sagan. New York: Ballantine Books, 1996. xv, 457. ISBN 0345409469. info
Teaching methods
seminar and discussion of the topics, lecture, eventually practice with computers
Assessment methods
Credit is assigned for participating in moderated discussion, presenting a short argumentative essay on a given topic or participating in competitive debate, and for attending at least 75% of the seminar lessons. Final credit is usually given in the last lessons of the semester.
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020, autumn 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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