Science, Research & Technology

Upcoming Courses


This course will cover the notable changes in iOS 17 and the new iPhone 15. We will also review the camera, photos, messages, maps, financial, and other essential apps and settings. Your iPhone should be updated to iOS 17.

Mondays and Thursdays, Mar 11, 14, 18, 21, Synchronous Online (5 seats (8%) remaining)
FIELD TRIP: Come and visit the only traditional bell foundry in the United States! Guided tours introduce guests to the field of campanology - the study of bells - as well as bronze and iron casting, and the daily workings of an active foundry. You may register to take the tour only, or you may register to tour and create a 'make-and-take'. Please register for only one. Because of event costs, fees are non-refundable unless we can fill your slot.

Friday 3/29, B.A. Sunderlin Bellfoundry (1 seats (2%) remaining)
Join Mark Rich, former Curator of Mammals at the San Diego Zoo, as he shares his adventure to bring to San Diego a baby Ceylonese elephant. The month-long expedition included studying elephants in the wild, as well as at the Penniwela Elephant Orphanage and zoos in Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Indonesia. But the focus is on a little elephant named Devi, which means 'Little Princess', and on the complicated and unusual way she finally arrived.

Friday, March 29, Special Programs Building, Classroom 156 (6 seats (17%) remaining)
The class will focus on how to enhance your photography experience with a cell phone regardless of the type of phone. This class will concentrate on improving photography skills, advanced photo opportunities and photo editing. Offered twice this semester - once online and once in person.

Fridays; 4/26 & 5/03, Special Programs Building, Classroom 156 (1 seats (3%) remaining)
This course will use a cognitive model to exam the decision styles of principal commanders of armies in the eastern theater of the Civil War. This includes optimism and confirmation bias, too high or too low a degree of fight in their amygdalae, and high reliance on Type I thinking.

Mondays 4/8, 15, TBD - UR Campus ( No seats currently available )
This course teaches the evidence-based scientific reasons for why eating whole food plants offers many advantages to overall health, longevity, and disease prevention and reversal. It is lecture-based and will include videos of doctors/dieticians advocating this way of eating for health. Also included are recipes and some live cooking demos. This class is valuable for anyone wanting to bring more healthy plant food into their diet.

Mondays; 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/4, 3/11, Synchronous Online
We are constantly presented with ethical dilemmas in health care and intervention, such as the availability of medicine and its usage. There are many other areas of ethical conundrums, such as the use of weapons, both personal and of mass destruction; and the application of economic factors such as taxation and the distribution of wealth. These and others will be viewed through the prism of Judaism and its teachings.

Friday 3/15, 22, BML, Adams Auditorium ( No seats currently available )
The geological evolution of the American West is a tale of continental collisions, volcanoes, earthquakes, and upheaval. This lecture will explain how the map of today can be explained by the paroxysm of the past in a fast-moving introductory overview of the power of geological processes to shape our modern landscape.

Tuesday, May 7, BUS, Ukrop Auditorium Q162
Designed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and facilitated at the grassroots level, the Great Decisions program highlights eight thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans each year. The 2024 Great Decisions videos and briefing book serve as the focal material for the class. It is strongly recommended that students purchase the briefing book and read the relevant topic before each class. To purchase the briefing book visit

Wednesdays, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, Mar 6, 13, 20, 27, JPSN, Room 118 (5 seats (11%) remaining)
For centuries, we've known that the health of the brain and the body are connected. But now, science is able to provide insights into how to optimize our physical and cognitive health as we age. Join this course to learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.

Thursday 3/28, Synchronous Online (11 seats (11%) remaining)
FIELD TRIP Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased Hillwood with the intent to leave it as a museum that would inspire and educate the public. We will have a docent-guided mansion tour showing her rich collections and passion for history. Following our tour we will have lunch on the grounds. There are no refunds unless we can fill your slot.

Wednesday, May 1, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
FIELD TRIP to the VA Museum of History and Culture: Julia Child's insatiable curiosity and tenacious spirit drove her to endlessly try, test, prove and communicate how to make delicious food. Learning to cook empowered Julia and she in turn empowered others, profoundly transforming American cuisine and food culture. Julia Child: A Recipe for Life explores the key ingredients that led to Julia's personal evolution and America's culinary revolution. Offered twice: please register for only one session. Because of the tour costs, fees for this class are non-refundable.

Friday, Mar 22, Virginia Museum of History and Culture ( No seats currently available )
Friday, Apr 12, Virginia Museum of History and Culture ( No seats currently available )
Head to Maymont for a private gardens tour offered by the Horticulture team. Maymont is a 100-acre Victorian estate and public park with varied and extensive gardens. Because of the event costs, fees for this class are non-refundable.

Friday 5/03, Maymont Gardens ( No seats currently available )
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for decades, but suddenly it seems to be everywhere. Whether we like AI, fear it or try to ignore it, our lives and livelihoods will be changed forever by intelligent chatbots, self-driving vehicles, surveillance drones, precision medicine, robotic art and more. In six jargon-free class sessions, this course aims to help regular people understand modern AI. No experience with computers or programming is required, nor expected.Course sessions will cover the past and future of AI, why older forms of AI failed to deliver, and where modern AI and self-guided robots are headed. The human elements of AI will be discussed throughout, including its impact on jobs and AI's potential to both help and harm us.

Thursdays; 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, Synchronous Online
While the polarization of politics in recent years has put fuel on the "fake news" fire, the concept of conflicting truths is not new. Dating back to the Renaissance and philosopher Francis Bacon understanding the psychological phenomenon later to be coined as "confirmation bias" our consumption of news continues to evolve. Therefore, so must our lens of reporting transparency. Step into the world of a broadcast journalist to understand what it takes to convey facts and spot shortcomings on TV. Understand first-hand the joys and challenges of standing and reporting in front of major sporting events like an NFL playoff game or MLB spring training to capture the scene for viewers. Understand social media in a new light as storytellers grow their own voices and those they have the responsibility to spotlight as powerful pieces attempt to not die in an echo chamber.

No session is currently available for registration

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Much research is currently being done on how humans and animals communicate and interact with one another. There are institutes at universities, books to read, as well as articles online about what your dog's facial expression means or what your cat's scratching behavior might indicate. Researchers such as Jane Goodall and Temple Grandin (to name just a few) live with and can tell us how animals experience the same emotions and what their thoughts might be. The perceived intelligence level of animals has repeatedly increased as the research continues, and we are able to learn more about animals and their life practices. Ethical farming practices, as well as everyday training for our domestic animals reflect that animals have many of the same basic needs and wants that we as humans have. The interesting practice is how that comes out in our everyday lives - all the way from what we eat to how we interact with our household pets. In this course, we will talk about and understand the latest research, what that means for human beings, and how this will continue to affect our co-existence in the future. This course will have a heavy student discussion component, coupled with lecture and media.

Wednesdays; 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/8 & 5/15, Synchronous Online
Welcome to 'Psychology Fundamentals: A 101 Overview', an introductory course designed to provide a broad, yet insightful glimpse into different areas of psychology. We will learn more about how psychology can help us understand humans' individual personalities, as well as group dynamics. We are going to look at the influence of geography on psychology, as well as what psychology can learn by becoming more cross-cultural. Whether this is your first step into the world of psychology, or you are looking to deepen your existing knowledge, the discussions around classic studies, as well as the presentation of novel research findings, promise something new and exciting for everyone.

Thursdays; 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2 & 5/9, Synchronous Online
Navigating the online marketplace can indeed be challenging. Unfortunately, e-commerce tips the advantage away from the consumer towards very sophisticated marketers. Whether dealing with a small business on Main Street or a giant firm on Madison Avenue, it is difficult to know who to trust or how to discern a true bargain from a real rip-off. So, how do you sort fact from fiction and take control of your purchasing power? Most importantly, how do you protect yourself from being duped out of money or worse, having your identity or account information stolen by hackers? In this course, we will cover critical aspects of being both a transactional and a relational shopper. We will discuss factors that can affect information perceptions and good buying decisions. And we'll offer a variety of resources to enhance your ability to make safe, sharp, and savvy purchasing decisions with sellers you can trust. You will hear from expert speakers, learn about valuable resources, and engage in helpful discussion. Being a Capable Consumer will change how you respond to social media messages and how you approach online shopping experiences for products and services big and small. You'll gain confidence and clarity through six enlightening discussions.

Thursdays; 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2 & 5/9, Synchronous Online
The Intersection of Maps & History is a six week course in cartographic history and visual analysis featuring the extensive (and largely digitized) cartographic collections of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine. Co-taught by the Osher Map Library's Executive Director, Faculty Scholar, and Reference and Teaching Librarian, this visually-rich online course will introduce participants to the history of cartography as a discipline and engage in deep visual analysis of maps and related ephemera. Over the course of our semester, we invite participants to take a deep dive with us into topics at the intersection of maps and history, such as: the History of Cartography project; Schoolgirl maps of the early-19th century; the History of Mapping in Color; City, Town, and County maps and genealogical research; Mapping and World War I; 20th Century Pictorial Maps, and more. Each session will feature an engaging illustrated topical lecture, and a lively Q and A session with the instructors. If you ever wanted to know more about how historic maps can serve as an illuminating window into historical eras, events, and topics, this is the class for you.

Fridays; 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10 & 5/17, Synchronous Online
Explanation and discussion of more fascinating themes in philosophy-another philosophy buffet! Topics include spirituality, religion and human rights, philosophy of sports and fitness, the process of belief formation, civil discourse, and philosophy of humor. What is spirituality and can it be trusted? Is religion good or bad for human rights? Why do so many people love sports? How do people come to believe things? How can we have respectful conversations with people who disagree with us about things that matter? And finally, what is humor and how does it work? Themes in Philosophy 1 and 2 are not prerequisites. Join us!

Wednesdays; 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1 & 5/8, Synchronous Online
Chemistry abounds in the real world, but few reactions in chemistry feel quite as intimate as those taking place inside our bodies. In this class, we'll learn about the molecules we eat and why we need them, as well as learning why nutritional research sometimes seems so confusing and fraught, as though scientists can't make up their minds. We'll also explore the science behind popular diets, learn how food molecules fuel our activities, and tackle what some of the latest science is revealing about the importance of the microbiome.

Tuesdays; 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, & 5/7, Synchronous Online
Wish you had more birds, bees, and butterflies where you live? This class will discuss how to improve the habitat around you using native plants, whether you have a traditional yard, container garden, or community space.

Tuesdays, Mar 26 and Apr 2, WHC, Living Room (Deanery) ( No seats currently available )
Share in the memoir of Jerri Barden Perkins, MD: growing up in the 1950s in Richmond, medical school, the NIH, FDA during the AIDS epidemic. Learn alongside her the challenges of self-publishing, her journey, escapades, and revelations on sport, education, career, and travel. From ups and downs in career to ski avalanches and biking the Loire Valley. Push your boundaries, be open to possibilities at any age, and say YES!

Friday 4/5, Special Programs Building, Classroom 156
This lecture will provide an overview of the DNA testing conducted by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in the Department of Forensic Biology. It will also highlight OCME's response and role in 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday 2/26, Synchronous Online
This presentation will review basic theory and research on subjective well-being and life satisfaction-what social science tells us about what makes for a satisfying life and what makes life worth living. The goal of the presentation is to provide you with some practical ideas for examining your own life and strategies increasing happiness and contentment. Offered in partnership with the Osher Institute at George Mason.

Monday, 4/15, Synchronous Online
Why do people act the way they do? The first course session will provide an overview of the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) by describing how the manipulation of the Antecedents that precede a Behavior and the Consequences that follow it can cause the behavior to increase or decrease. The second course session will provide an overview of research-based ABA interventions and their application to the real world.

Wednesdays 3/27, 4/3, JPSN, Room 118 (6 seats (13%) remaining)
Using photos taken during endoscopy, we will take a voyage down the Grand Canal, the 30-foot-long gastrointestinal tract. We will begin our journey with the mouth and a discussion of the sense of taste and ending appropriately with the treatment of hemorrhoids. During our travels, current approaches to diseases like heartburn, ulcers, the new medications for obesity, irritable bowel, colitis, diverticulitis, and colon cancer will be reviewed. Time permitting, cases will be presented with the hope that the correct diagnosis will be made - waiting for the autopsy is not an option.

Monday, April 8, JPSN, Room 118
Join University of Richmond's Natural Area Steward for a tour of the Eco Corridor. This engaging walking tour will cover the history of the eco corridor, the restoration and the future of a green campus resource. Please wear comfortable shoes and come prepared to enjoy the beautiful nature unfolding in the eco corridor on the University campus. Offered twice: please register for only one session.

Thursday, Entrance to the Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor ( No seats currently available )
Thursday 4/11, Entrance to the Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor ( No seats currently available )