The Future of Energy


This introductory course will examine the human use of energy, focusing on future energy choices and their impacts on the environment. The course will be primarily lecture-based but will include multiple student-centered active-learning opportunities. We will examine the future of energy from scientific, technological, social, economic, ethical, and political viewpoints, so students from Arts & Sciences, Art & Architecture, Business, and Engineering are all welcome. Our human use of energy has allowed for remarkable technological developments. This development has also often come at the unjust expense of underprivileged communities; energy, like the climate change that the use of fossil fuels has driven, is a social justice issue. However, with remarkable advances in green energy technologies (solar and wind, battery storage, hydrogen-based energy), the world is poised on an energy revolution that could provide the world with vast amounts of inexpensive and environmentally friendly energy. But many questions remain. Can this be done in fair and equitable ways? How long will it take? Will it impact the environment? Can we avoid hitting global warming tipping points? To what degree will nuclear fission and/or fusion play a role? Are there new energy sources or technologies in store? Students of all majors will leave with a deeper understanding of human energy issues and be better prepared for future employment that may directly or indirectly relate to energy.
Course Attributes: BU SCI

Section 01

The Future of Energy
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