Decolonising the physics curriculum: starting with thermodynamics. What, why, and how?

General interest seminar

Decolonising the physics curriculum: starting with thermodynamics. What, why, and how?

  • Event time: 5:00pm until 6:00pm
  • Event date: 7th March 2022
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Lecture Theatre A and online

Event details

Decolonising the physics curriculum: starting with thermodynamics. What, why, and how?

Prof Wilson Poon

The first lecture of my 2021-22 Junior Honours course on classical thermodynamics started with the history of the subject, showing how its origins were deeply implicated in imperialism and slavery. I asked the students to consider if this mattered, and argued that, far from ignoring it, we should approach the subject with our eyes wide open to its problematic past. Several ways in which I taught the main subject matter were influenced by this consideration as I sought to give it a ‘decolonised flavour’. In this seminar, I shall explain what I mean a ‘decolonised flavour’, why I think it matters, and how I actually took the first tentative steps in decolonising the thermodynamics curriculum.

Attending this event / accessing event online 

This event will be live, live-streamed and recorded.

  • Watching live: tea and cakes will be available from 4.30pm outside Lecture Theatre A
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About General interest seminars

Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend..

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