Friday, August 7, 2015

Logical Reasoning (we hope!) in Finland

On  Monday we begin an instance of our 5-day mini-course on conceptual issues in human genetics. We did this last August in Helsinki, Finland, where we have ongoing collaborations.  We've done the course in Finland several times over the years, and in Madrid, Berlin, and Venezuela.  This year, by request of parties in Finland, it will be offered in Oulu, along the northwest coast of the country.  The students are largely, but not only, from Finland.  Others are typically from various EU and sometimes other, countries.  It is a series of talks by us, Joe Terwilliger (close friend of Kim Il Ung, and itinerant tuba player and Abe Lincoln impersonator), Markus Perola a serious Finnish physician and genetics researcher, Tero Hiekkalinna, a computer person and, for some reason, Pabst beer fanatic, and Johannes Kettunen, whom we've not yet met but is part of the relevant Finnish genetic research establishment.

The objective is not to give lectures on modern technologies and details, but to discuss the conceptual issues in evolutionary and biomedical genetics, the nature of approaches, study designs and inferential logic, including topics in the philosophy of science that relate to how we evaluate data to draw conclusions and modify our understanding.

The students are usually graduate students, post-docs, and research or medical professionals. This is for discussion--no exams!  The resulting interactions have always been interesting and we assume they will be so again this year.

We'll post about this course if or as issues relevant to MT readers arise.


Anonymous said...

Kim Jong opened a landmark new airport last month -

I mention that to request Kim's friend Terwilliger to arrange for video feeds for your course. You guys should not be the ones falling behind on technology curve :)


Finnish In Wisconsin said...

How did this go? It sounds very interesting!

Ken Weiss said...

The student evaluations indicated that it went very well. There were about 50 students, post-docs, clinicians and other research workers, mainly but not only from Finland. I think that the way we present the nature of genomic variation, its origins, and why the causal complexity that we see is what we should expect to see, seems to be a thought-stimulant or even eye-opener to many in the classes we teach.