Cancer Biology (Dorottya Polos)
This course explores the biology of cancer. There will be a focus on the cellular and molecular biology of cancer and exploration of the role of viruses in cancer, cellular oncogenes, cellular signalling mechanisms and tumour suppressor genes. We also examine the regulation of the cell cycle, apoptosis, cellular immortalisation, tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Finally, we examine how modern molecular medicine is being used to treat cancer.
Environmental Policy (Barbora Obračajová)
The environment stands in the forefront of everything that we do, so it is no wonder that it has become a big topic across the society. What we are going to do in this course is that we will explore how the mankind regulates the way it interferes with the environment. We will analyse and evaluate many difficult questions, including, but not limited to:
– What is climate change and does it exist?
– What tools does environmental policy have and are we using them properly?
– What is the Paris climate change agreement and why does it matter?
– How do we pick the scientific data that we base our regulation on?
– How does climate change affect the mankind, and especially the most disadvantaged groups?
– How much can/should an individual do to combat climate change? What if the individual is a multi-national corporation that emits 0,01% of world’s CO2 or Al Gore?
– How should we distribute the responsibility for climate change among developing and developed countries?
– Is climate change fair?
– Why does the world regulate the CO2 emissions, and are the tools well-designed?
– What if the USA just decided to bail on the entire planet?
– Are we all going to die?
Ethics and Political Philosophy (Petr Vilím)
The Internet has made participating in political life easier than ever. But with greater ability for expression comes the debasing of political debates, which are full of soundbites and emotion-driven statements, rather than rational arguments. The aim of my course is to awaken a philosophical spirit in its participations by using crushing precision of language and logic to get to moral and political conclusions, i.e. conclusions about what is right and wrong in our personal and public lives. In particular, we will discuss:
– Normative ethics (What is right?)
– Metaethics (How do we know what is right? Can anything be right in the first place?)
– Constructivism (Can we create morality? What is the right division of wealth in society?)
– Cosmopolitanism and nation (What, if anything, do we owe to our fellow citizens?)
– Democracy (Why is democracy good? How can we make it better?)
– Applications (Is it right to eat animals? And other debates on various topics)
The desire to think critically and reach the truth (even at the cost of abandoning your original view) are the main prerequisites for my course.
Experimental Particle Physics (Andrzej Novak)
While I’ve always wanted to do physics, it wasn’t until the third year of college that I began to understand what the work was really about. In this course you will have a chance to experience first hand what the job of a particle physicist is about and you might learn some physics along the way as well.
We will begin by discussing what we know of the composition of the world we live in, what we don’t know and why do the CERN member states provide 1 000 000 000 EUR every year for a bunch of scientists to generate the second largest dataset in the world. We’ll go on to discuss how particle accelerators, as well as the used detectors work and we’ll learn the basics of scientific computing (elementary python). Based on that knowledge we’ll dive head on into the analysis of real data collected at CMS, in which we’ll look for the W and Z bosons. Essentially you will get to perform the measurement that in 1984 was worthy of a Nobel prize.
For the practical part of the course a laptop will be necessary, however, no previous knowledge of programming will be assumed.
Global Health (Jana Lohrová)
Global and public health is at work in practically everything we do in our day-to-day lives. The unprecedented growth in life quality around the world since the 20th century is the direct result of centuries of progress not only in medicine, but also governance, public administration, and education. Global health is a field in which we study how the best state of health can be achieved equitably for all people worldwide. The field itself is spearheaded by people in medicine, economics, humanities, government, and natural sciences alike, and requires an interdisciplinary approach – what a topic to Discover!
Is health only about germs and diseases, or is there more to the story? Why do people in some nations live to see eighty while elsewhere babies don’t make it past their first birthday? Why do we treat some people for parasites while we build up sidewalks and bus lines elsewhere? In Global Health, we will explore these and many other themes. We will talk about what health means, how do we study it, why do we care – and what do we do?
In this course, we’ll talk about:
– Burden of disease: when do we say we’re healthy? When we’re not? What’s out there to get us? What determines that?
– Maternal health and nutrition: why are the early years of life so complex and crucial to health, and what can they teach us about how public health works in practice?
– The quest against plagues: how have we warded off infectious disease? Why do eradication programs come and go, succeed or fail?
– Changing climate: how does climate change affect health worldwide? What may we expect if climate change is not halted, and what are some health co-benefits that mitigation efforts can bring?
– Changing landscapes: how does the epidemiological transition look? What are some new challenges in health as nations develop? How does globalization affect health?
– Where to next: what is the current work and main actors in global health? Where are we at, and where do we go next?
Law (Lasha Shakulashvili)
People often regard law as something too sophisticated and secluded. While it is true that law is quite sophisticated, however, it certainly is more scattered in our everyday life than we can imagine.
In this course, we are going to question what awaits us, if we decide to study law and direct our future career path to this particular field.
During the week, attendees of the course will be able to dive into the following seminars:
– Brief introduction to jurisprudence;
– Brief introduction to international law;
– Brief introduction to business law;
– Brief introduction to media law;
– Brief introduction to environmental law;
– Moot courts.
All the seminars will include the respective case studies.
Literature for Anarchists (Alex Gabriel)
Literature is often imagined as the study of major authors by people who ‘enjoy reading’. Its teaching can feel like being keelhauled through someone else’s favourite books. But what if we defined literature differently?
This course is anti-author and anti-authoritarian. Drawing on the history of social movements, it approaches performance and re-performance of texts as a social phenomenon and strategy of resistance. Students will discuss oral and unwritten literatures, the historical meaning of Twitter and what Shakespeare’s plays have in common with slash fiction; examine drag as a means of ‘queering’ existing texts; consider the unreliable narrator in disputes over science and religion; trace the thread from American folk music to #BlackLivesMatter; study the exploits of the Barbie Liberation Organization and the concept of détournement, and explore literatures of resistance under Hitler, Stalin and Donald Trump.
Several famous authors will show up on this course, but participants need not be avid readers. Taught in an accessible style, lessons will draw on advanced ideas from philosophy, sociology and politics as well as literary theory, treating literature and activist history as lenses through which to view each other. Students interested in these areas, as well as media and the performing arts, will find themselves at home—though the only real requirement is a desire to enjoy themselves. Non-anarchists welcome!
Machine learning (Jon Šotola)
Tasks thought to be the sole domain of humans have recently been solved by computers. Language translation, object recognition, music composition, financial market trading, or playing Go — these are just a few examples of task that computers can perform using a technique called machine learning.
We will start by looking at the very basic mechanisms behind machine learning. Discus what it means for a computer to learn and how it is possible to convert learning to a mathematical operation. We will then teach each of our laptops to recognise hand-written digits and perhaps some more.
No prior knowledge of mathematic or programming is required.
Mathematics (Daniel Jahn)
Mathematics. What is it for? The question many students ask, yet not many teachers can satisfyingly answer. This course, however, does exactly that.
While there is an important case to be made for the beauty and intrinsic value of mathematics, those are not going to be the primary focuses of this course. In this course, we will discover mathematics as an indispensable tool for making sense of the world. A tool that helps us categorize, understand, and subsequently shape our reality. We will touch upon many areas, from neuroscience to human interaction, from epidemiology to marketing.
But mainly we will tackle an actual real-world problem, take it apart and design a mathematical model describing its constituent parts, finally arriving at a new understanding of, and a solution to, the problem.
After this course, you will have an idea of what an applied mathematician does and how you might use your newly gained mathematical superpowers for good.
This course is not aimed only at people who want to study math. If you find the world fascinating and are not afraid to think a lot, this course is for you. The content of the course will be altered depending on the preferences of the group.
Medicine (Martin Huncovský)
Medicine has changed dramatically over time. No longer we invoke gods to cure our illness, nor we need to pursue dissections in secret. Treatment of infectious diseases, kidney transplantations and test-tube babies are just a few examples of medicine’s undeniable success. However, these achievements come at a price.
First, medical scientists are now under pressure to provide an ongoing stream of novel treatments. Despite glamorous headlines, follow up studies are hardly as spectacular as the original research. Second, otherwise perfectly well people are worried about their health. What was once “don’t smoke, eat sensibly” developed into condemnation of various life pleasures and scare-mongering by media and public health officials. This goes into our third point, where pharmaceutical industry has successfully undermined aims of medicine to its very profitable advantage.
Together we will explore clinical decision making, power of laboratory tests, and issues of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. You will learn tools how to deal with uncertainty, bias and misunderstanding that are all inherent part of medicine. Global health and Neuroscience courses will be great complement to this one. First aid and workshop on medical school application is included in the package.
Modern history (Emma Nabi-Bourgois)
Taking the (hopefully) familiar example of the First World War, this course offers to walk students through a century of history, but in quite a different way… Starting with the ‘history of great men’ to the ‘history from below’, through gender and colonial history, this course aims to offer its student a broad understanding of what exactly it means to write history. More importantly, it aspires to help them figure out the kind of history they like, and how they can go about doing it!
Day 1 – Diplomatic history, the history of great mean, and Leopold von Ranke; the old historical canons
Day 2 – The history from below, post-structuralism and the quest for truth; what is history really about and can we ever know the truth?
Day 3 – Women’s history, gender history, subcultural history and reading sources ‘against the grain’; a practical exercise in looking for the hidden and the obvious
Day 4 – Intellectual history, transnational history and interdisplinarity; don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Day 5 – History writing, objectivity, originality and Natalie Zemon Davis – negotiating the boundaries between the art and the science
Politics (Margerita Phillip)
This course is will let you grapple with some of the key questions of political thought: What makes a just society? What does it mean to be free? Do we owe people who live on the other side of the planet anything? Should feminists demand equality? Most of us have intuitions about these questions, but we will be working with the philosophers’ toolkit of logic and reason to pick apart and weigh up our arguments. In addition to reading and discussing political philosophers from ancient Greece to the modern day we will look at what cognitive science has been telling us about “human nature” and whether this can or should affect what we think justice looks like.
Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience (Martina Kavanová)
In this course we will talk about the brain and how (we think) it gives rise to the mind. You will debunk pseudo-neuroscience and find out why you can’t trust news headlines. We will talk about how people recognise colours, remember their way home, and how these simple things can go wrong.
Some of the topics we will cover:
– The brain from close up and from far away.
– Perception: How do you tell and apple from a ball? Did you know some people can’t?
– Memory and the temporal lobe: Do we have a limited memory storage? What is it like to live Memento? Why do scientists spend hours looking at swimming mice?
– Decision-making and rationality: You are not as smart as you think.
Theatre (Veronika Žolnerčíková)
A wise man once said that the whole world is a stage and all the people in it are but mere actors. And from a certain perspective, we definitely are. Our posture, manner of speaking or the capability to maintain eye contact are all elements that create a story about us. A story that is visible to others just by looking at us, without us or the ones that are looking realizing, what exactly gave it away. This works in our everyday lives and on a stage as well. The difference is, that on a stage you are aware of the clues you give away and you do it intentionally. But first, you must know how to read them yourselves. So, let’s play for a bit and create new stories.
In this course we will master our movement and speech, we will learn how to cooperate with others and how to improvise. You will also gain useful skills, for example how to tone – down the nervosity of presenting yourself in front of a crowd. We will play lots of games, discover various theatre techniques and rehearse few sketches as well.
Depending on the preferences of the group, we will either focus on performing as such or on gaining useful everyday skills. There is only one requirement and that is the willingness to overcome the initial shyness (which is only natural) and try new things together.