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Online course

Discovering Science: Global Challenges

Can chemistry help to feed a growing population, or overcome increasing bacterial resistance?

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Discovering Science: Global Challenges

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This course is part of the Discovering Science program, which will enable you to learn about the extraordinary world of everyday chemistry, and earn 10 credits from the University of Leeds.

Why join the course?

Find out how the Penicillin class of antibiotics has been a major breakthrough in the treatment of patients. However, with bacteria developing efficient ways of resisting antibiotic treatment, discover how scientists are treating patients with infections resulting from resistant bacteria.

The world’s population is approaching eight billion people, putting increasing strain on our ability to feed everybody. Explore the strategies currently being developed, and the role that chemistry plays in finding solutions to food security.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsExamine today's global challenges with leading academics, and explore possible solutions to some of the greatest threats we face today. In week one, Professor Colin Fishwick introduces the rise of the superbugs and the challenge of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Understand how bacteria have developed a resistance, which scientists fear could lead to a return to a pre-antibiotic era. Find out how advances in research are helping to overcome this resistance. In week two, Professor Steve Marsden highlights some of the challenges of feeding a growing population, presenting two alternative methods of agriculture. He explores the use of GMOs and organic farming and discusses the effects of changing diets on food production.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsAs part of the Discovering Science programme, this course will demonstrate how science is communicated and will further develop your science writing skills, helping you reach a wider audience.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 secondsSign up now for Discovering Science: Global Challenges.

What topics will you cover?

  • The origins of penicillin and the research behind antibiotic development.
  • The way in which pencillins kill bacteria.
  • Introduction to the molecular structure of the penicillins and how their structure underpins their antibacterial properties.
  • The ways in which some bacteria types are able to become resistant to antibiotics.
  • The clinical research of a consultant in infectious and travel medicine.
  • The challenges behind educating people in the proper use of antibiotics.
  • The ways in which chemists are making contributions to overcoming the problem of bacterial resistance.
  • The ethical issues associated with powerful medicines, and the appropriate uses of them.
  • Assignment: prepare interview questions to demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues behind a scientific topic.
  • The uses of chemistry in addressing the challenges of feeding a growing population.
  • The role of chemical crop protection agents and the development of agrochemicals.
  • The way agrochemical products are discovered and designed.
  • The discovery of the World’s most widely used fungicidal agent, Azoxystrobin.
  • The multidisciplinary nature of the discovery of new biologically active molecules.
  • The uses of natural crops and their genetically-modified alternatives.
  • Sustainable options for feeding a rapidly growing population.
  • Alternative methods of agriculture that complement the use of chemical crop protection agents.
  • Assignment: a peer reviewed task to write a blog post on a scientific topic.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the origins of antibiotic development and how some bacteria are able to become resistant to antibiotics.
  • Explore the challenges behind educating people in the proper use of antibiotics.
  • Identify uses of chemistry in addressing the challenges of feeding a growing population.
  • Explore the uses of natural crops and their genetically-modified alternatives.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in chemistry; no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you are working in the field of science and would like to practice and improve your science writing skills, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

If you intend to complete the Discovering Science program, it is recommended that you complete Discovering Science: Science Writing before starting this course, however this course can still be studied independently.

Who will you learn with?

Paul Taylor

I'm from Holmfirth in Yorkshire. I'm a Professor at the University of Leeds. I'm Director of Student Education for Chemistry and research on cancer & evolution www.chem.leeds.ac.uk/People/Taylor.html

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service: This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $99 (+ shipping) you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


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