Daily, we are bombarded with interesting and novel breakthroughs involving claims that may or may not be true. In this age of "alternative facts" and evidence-free assertions, critical thinking is of paramount importance. From our home base in London, we will explore the history of science and pseudoscience through visits to research institutes, museums, and historic sites including Stonehenge, Bath, Cambridge University, Freud’s house in London, Darwin’s house in Downe, and the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, London University.
Was an amazing trip. I would highly recommend anyone to go no matter what your major is! -Sabrina, 2019
I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to study abroad in London and explore a new country. I saw and heard people of many different nationalities and experienced many things that one would not find in the US. I loved all of these differences and wish I could have stayed longer. -Amanda, 2018
Carolyn Hildebrandt, Professor
Campus Address: BAR 1077
Carolyn loves traveling and has visited England, Scotland, Russia, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Canada, and Mexico. Carolyn led the Capstone in London program in 2018 and 2019. She looks forward to taking another group to London in 2021!
CAP 3130 Science and Pseudoscience: Critiquing the World around You (3 credit hours)
The purpose of the course is to explore the history of science and pseudoscience from an interdisciplinary, multicultural perspective. Cross-cultural goals include interacting with faculty and students at London University, comparing the study of science and pseudoscience in England and the U.S., and learning about current social and cultural issues in England.
Participation in this program requires six on-campus class meetings prior to the travel dates, as well as daily excursions and reflections during our time in England. Please contact the course leader for more information regarding these meetings. Note that the meetings during the spring semester do not correspond with a credit-bearing course. The capstone course is scheduled as a summer course. The Study Abroad Center will direct enroll participants in the capstone course during the spring semester.
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Distinguish science, pseudoscience, and religion
- Describe the scientific method and identify uses and abuses of it
- Define theory, fact, and hypothesis; describe the importance of theories for scientific research
- List common formal and informal fallacies in critical thinking and give examples of each
- Define anomalistic psychology, give examples of anomalistic ideas, how they are formed, how they are maintained, and how they can be explained and/or refuted.
- Describe similarities and differences in current social and cultural issues in the U.S. and England
- Discuss and critically evaluate current controversies (e.g., evolution, psychoanalysis, climate change, vaccinations, gun control) from multiple perspectives
To view the course syllabus, click HERE.
- In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program s course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study.
- Students planning to participate in the spring commencement ceremony in May can enroll in this summer term program, however, their degree will not be conferred until the end of the summer term and is contingent on the successful completion of the program and all required coursework.
- Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
- Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken this capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
Tentative Program Dates: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (depart US) to Thursday, June 3, 2021 (return to US)
Sample itinerary is subject to change. Depending on a variety of factors, participants may either fly individually and pay the airline directly for their airfare OR fly as a group from the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids and pay a designated travel agency for their airfare. Program participants will be informed on how to purchase airfare once they are committed to participation, in the months prior to program departure.
Class will meet for 60-90 minutes most mornings before group visits to the sites listed in the schedule below. There will be ample free time for students to explore other sites in London not listed on the schedule. Students will be given a transportation card for the subway and buses prior to departure. The card will be preloaded with enough credit to travel from Heathrow Airport to the Royal National Hotel and for travel during the first few days of the program. Students will need to add credit to the card as necessary throughout the program.
Day 1: “Welcome to London!”
Check into the Royal National Hotel
Welcome dinner at Bloom’s Pizza Café
Day 2: “Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Living and Dying”
The British Museum
Picnic in the Park
Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour of London
Day 3: “Science, Medicine and Magic: Sacred and Profane”
The Grant Museum of Zoology
The Wellcome Collection
Hop-on, Hop-off Thames River Cruise
Day 4: “Theories of Evolution”
Excursion to Darwin's House in Downe
Lunch at the Queen’s Arms or the George & Dragon Pub (paid on own)
Day 5: "Religious Diversity in London: Part 1"
Visit a place of worship of your choice (e.g., Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buddhist Temple, London Central Mosque,
Friends House (Quaker), Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel)
Day 6: “Theories of the Unconscious Mind”
The Freud Museum
Indian Tasting Buffet Lunch
Day 7: “History of Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment in the UK”
Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Turkish Tasting Buffet Dinner
Day 8: “Weird Science: Anomalistic Psychology”
Lecture on "Ghosts and Hauntings" by Dr. Christopher French, Director of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths
College, London University
Lunch at a local pub with Dr. French (paid on own)
Day 9: “Healing Waters, Sacred Stones”
Excursion to Stonehenge and Bath
Day 10: “British Contributions to Science and Technology”
Natural History Museum and London Science Museum
Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park
Day 11: “Science, Pseudoscience, and Social Justice”
Charles Dickens Museum
The Foundling Museum
London Unseen: Covent Garden Area Walking Tour
Day 12: “Cultural and Religious Diversity in London: Part 2”
Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Temple
Day 13: “The Psychology of Superstition”
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Regents Park and Queen Mary’s Rose Garden
London Astrology Shop
Day 14: “Pioneers of Science and Medicine”
Excursion to Cambridge University
Punting on the River Cam
Day 15: “Medicine and Social Justice”
Florence Nightingale Museum
British Red Cross Museum
Day 16: Depart for U.S.A.
To view another video from a past participant, click here.
Housing & Meals
Students will stay in a hotel arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure. Fifteen breakfasts, three lunches, and two dinners are built into the cost of the program. All other meals will be paid for by students out-of-pocket while abroad. Students are encouraged to try the local foods!
Capstone in London
Estimated Program Cost:
* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors
Cost of studying on-campus*
*per semester, estimated, will vary per person
Tuition & Fees:
Room & Board:
Dates & Deadlines
The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:
- Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
- If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
- Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
- Must be over the age of 18 years old
- Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
- Must be in good standing with the University
- UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
- Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
- All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
- Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.