INX100 - Introduction to the Natural Sciences

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:52:25.721
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:52:55.071

Subject Title
Introduction to the Natural Sciences

Subject Description
This survey course is intended to give students a broad understanding of the sub-disciplines that comprise the natural sciences and to provide students with an understanding of the historical, philosophical and societal contributions of science. Current issues of particular concern to both science and society will be emphasized.

Credit Status
Required first level natural science course for students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program; also a Liberal Studies Option (LSO) for Seneca degree students.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Identify and define key elements of the sub-disciplines that comprise the natural sciences. 
2. Discuss the natural sciences, particularly their historical context, philosophical background and role in society.
3. Explain some of the major issues arising from the interface between natural science, technology and society. 
4. Recognize the ethical, social and cultural concerns connected to certain modern developments/discoveries within the natural sciences.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Execute mathematical operations accurately.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

ENG 106 or one lower-level liberal studies (LSO) or Critical Thinking course

Topic Outline

  • Definition and categorization of natural science
  • Overview of philosophical background of natural science development
  • Survey of historical events that contributed to the development of natural science
  • Description and explanation of the main branches of natural science
  • Importance of interdisciplinary fields in natural science
  • Relationship between natural science and modern technology
  • Understanding the position and role of natural science in modern society
  • Issues regarding the interface between society and natural science
  • Reciprocal influence of natural science and culture in today’s society
  • Ethical, social and cultural aspects of natural science and technology today

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, class discussions, individual and group presentations

Prescribed Texts
Trefil, James and Robert M. Hazen. The Sciences: An Integrated Approach, 8th Edition (Binder Version). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Reference Material
Students are referred to the following web site for the Seneca College Library APA Style Guide and Guide to Integrating Quotations (APA Style):

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Assignments & Tests:                      50%
Research Paper & Presentation:     25%
Final Exam:                                       25%           

To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified, and achieve an overall grade of 50% or more.  It is expected that students have a sufficient command of the English language to express themselves clearly in both written assignments and class discussions. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see the Academic Policy at

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood