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CBMS123 – Alchemy, Drugs and the Quest for Immortality

2017 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Damian Moran
Peter Karuso
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Alchemy is the art and science of converting one substance into another, and it has been an important factor in shaping our society. Metals, ceramics, drugs and plastics have changed and enhanced our lifestyle. Drugs, fertilisers and pesticides have saved millions of lives, but not without some unforeseen environmental or social problems. When this happens, decisions have to be made and costs weighed against benefits. An appreciation of such issues is needed for better understanding the important problems that face society. This unit explores the way chemistry affects our lives, and the way chemists work things out. The unit does not aim to teach chemistry but looks at the impact that chemical sciences has had on civilisation and where the latest molecular innovations are likely to lead us. The commercial significance of key biological processes and industries is addressed, emphasising the Australian context. The unit also examines connections between chemistry and other scientific fields as diverse as psychology, finance, medicine, environmental studies and astronomy, as well as revealing aesthetic and philosophical aspects of chemistry. This unit is taught completely online with a combination of topical lectures and multimedia material.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  2. Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  3. Be able to critically evaluate non-specialist literature (e.g. Newspapers) that discuss chemical and biochemical issues
  4. Understand the role of chemistry and the molecular sciences in drug discovery and medicine
  5. Understand the role of chemistry as the source and solution of environmental issues
  6. Understand the role of chemistry in industry
  7. Understand how chemists approach science and seek to solve chemical questions

General Assessment Information

If you are unable to complete an assessment task due to illness or misadventure, you must submit a Disruption to Studies notification at ask.mq.edu.au no later than five (5) working days after the assessment task due date.  You should also immediately contact the Unit Convenor, Damian Moran (damian.moran@mq.edu.au).  

Essay 1 and Essay 2 are hurdle assessments and you will need to get >= 30% to meet these hurdles.  In the event that you make a serious first attempt at a hurdle task, you will be provided with the opportunity to re-attempt the failed hurdle task.  The Faculty define a serious attempt as a mark that is 10% below the hurdle, which in this instance is a mark between 20-30%. You will NOT be given a second attempt at a hurdle task if you get below 20% in your first attempt.  If you fail all attempts at a hurdle task, you will fail the unit (grade F or FH).

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Workshop 1 10% Week 3
Workshop 2 10% Week 7
Workshop 3 10% Week 9
Workshop 4 10% Week 11
Workshop 5 10% Week 13
Essay 1 25% Week 5
Essay 2 25% Week 8

Workshop 1

Due: Week 3
Weighting: 10%

Multiple choice quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Understand the role of chemistry in industry

Workshop 2

Due: Week 7
Weighting: 10%

Multiple choice quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Understand the role of chemistry and the molecular sciences in drug discovery and medicine

Workshop 3

Due: Week 9
Weighting: 10%

Multiple choice quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry

Workshop 4

Due: Week 11
Weighting: 10%

Multiple choice quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Understand the role of chemistry as the source and solution of environmental issues

Workshop 5

Due: Week 13
Weighting: 10%

Multiple choice quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Understand how chemists approach science and seek to solve chemical questions

Essay 1

Due: Week 5
Weighting: 25%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Pick either a book chapter OR a chemical Industry and write an essay


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  • Understand the role of chemistry in industry

Essay 2

Due: Week 8
Weighting: 25%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Write a poem on chemistry, chemical philosophy or the lectures so far, OR, write a critical essay on the philosophy of science if it had been written by chemists


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Be able to critically evaluate non-specialist literature (e.g. Newspapers) that discuss chemical and biochemical issues
  • Understand how chemists approach science and seek to solve chemical questions

Delivery and Resources

CBMS123 is delivered using iLearn (http://ilearn.mq.edu.au).  There you will find all the lectures, notes, assessment tasks and announcements, as well as links to interesting internet sites, software, and lots of other interesting stuff.

You must check the CBMS123 iLearn space regularly - at least once a week.  For assistance with accessing iLearn, please refer to the iLearn guide (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/tools-and-resources/ilearn).

You must also check your University (student) e-mail address regularly, as important information, like reminders about looming deadlines, will be emailed to you.  For assistance with accessing your e-mail, please refer to the How to access Student Email guide (https://wiki.mq.edu.au/display/gmail/How+to+access+Student+Email)

All lectures are on-line and available via the Echo360 Active Learning Platform at iLearn. For assistance with accessing the Echo360 Active Learning Platform, please refer to the Echo 360 student guide (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/tools-and-resources/ilearn/ilearn-quick-guides-for-students/lecture-recordings).

Unit Schedule

Lecturers: PK = Prof.  Peter Karuso;  JJ = Dr Joanne Jamie;  MN = Ms Maree Nelson; BO = Prof. Brian Orr

Week #

e-lecture A

e-lecture B

1...31 July

L0: Introductory Remarks

L1: Chemistry through the Ages (BO)

L2: Elements of Chemistry (BO)

2...7 Aug

L3: Aluminium from Ore to Oven (BO) plus Preview of L4L5 & E1

L4: Bridges for Civilisation (BO)

     3...14 Aug

L5: Chemistry - Creative, Useful and Central (BO)

L6: Health, Life & Natural Products - Shipworm to Carbolic Acid (PK)

     4...21 Aug

L7: Health, Life & Natural Products - Salvarsan to Penicillin; The quest for immortality (PK)

L8: Health, Life & Natural Products - What Do Molecules Look Like? (PK)

     5...28 Aug

L9: Health, Life & Natural Products - Chemicals from Nature (JJ)

L10: Biochemical Catalysts - Enzymes at Work (PK)

     6...4 Sept

L11: Industrial Catalysts - The Legacy of Fritz Haber (BO)

L12: Molecules Everywhere - Space, Primordial Slime (BO)

7…11 Sept

L13: Is Chemistry Art or Science? (PK)

L14: New Materials - Modern Alchemy (JJ)

RECESS (18 Sept – 2 Oct) prepare essay 2

     8...3 Oct

L15: Chemistry in and for the Environment #1 (MN)                                      

L16: Chemistry in and for the Environment #2 (MN)                                       

9...9 Oct

L17: Chemical Identity - What are you? (PK)

L18: Chemical Identity - How much of you is there? (JJ)

     10...16 Oct

L19: Chemical Identity - What is going on? (PK)

L20: Chemical identity - The same ... but different (PK)

     11...23 Oct

L21:  When Things Go Wrong … (PK)

 

L22:  A Famous Chemist - Linus Pauling (PK)

     12...30 Oct

L23 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (PK)  # LIVE LECTURE

L24:  Chemical Issues (MN) 

     13...6 Nov

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  • Understand the role of chemistry and the molecular sciences in drug discovery and medicine

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 2
  • Essay 1

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Understand how chemists approach science and seek to solve chemical questions

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 2

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  • Be able to critically evaluate non-specialist literature (e.g. Newspapers) that discuss chemical and biochemical issues
  • Understand the role of chemistry as the source and solution of environmental issues
  • Understand the role of chemistry in industry

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
  • Workshop 4
  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  • Be able to critically evaluate non-specialist literature (e.g. Newspapers) that discuss chemical and biochemical issues
  • Understand the role of chemistry as the source and solution of environmental issues

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
  • Workshop 4
  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the role of chemistry and the molecular sciences in drug discovery and medicine
  • Understand how chemists approach science and seek to solve chemical questions

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 2

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  • Understand the role of chemistry in industry

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
  • Workshop 4
  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 1

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify issues facing humanity that are caused by chemicals or have have their solution in chemistry
  • Be able to discuss important issues that have a chemical basis from a rational perspective
  • Be able to critically evaluate non-specialist literature (e.g. Newspapers) that discuss chemical and biochemical issues
  • Understand the role of chemistry as the source and solution of environmental issues
  • Understand the role of chemistry in industry

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
  • Workshop 4
  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
  • Workshop 4
  • Workshop 5
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2