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Understanding Science and the Mind

An exploration of science that helps us understand the many functions and capabilities of the human brain and mind

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Rather than host a science class that attempts to merely survey different disciplines of science like physics, chemistry, environmental science, and biology, the Ubiquity founders and I have based this course around a common theme: the Mind. While physics and mathematics are foundational disciplines of science in the traditional sense, subjects like the brain, behavior, thought, cognition, and consciousness are the ground those disciplines build upon.. The foundation emerges from the realization that the presence of these subjects that encompass the mind is required for all human interaction including: the study of science itself, the state of being awake, and even reading this passage. None of this would be possible without the mind.

The course includes 15 modules with a core video per module, a large selection of great extra resources and quizzes to help you check and integrate your learning. The course should take you between 7 and 12 hours depending on how many of the extra resources you choose to explore.

No one discipline can study the mind, which is why multiple disciplines must be understood and coupled together, using many lenses to examine this single foundational field of study.

In this course we start small, exploring the inner workings of our atomic world, examining how atoms form molecules, and eventually how these molecules and macromolecules behave and work together in living systems through the study of basic biochemistry and molecular biology. We then take a survey of the brain and nervous system––helping us to understand how the presence of this physical entity gives rise to human consciousness.

Then, for the rest of the course, we explore how this consciousness changes through different life experiences: moments of intense emotion, drug-induced states, and psychopathology. It will become more obvious to you how traits exhibited by the brain––most prominently its vast complexity and malleability––parallel human behavior, cognition, and emotion. Theses mental states affect the brain, which then in turn can affect the rest of the body. Studying the physiology of this connection can help us unravel previously under-recognized changes in health and wellness, both positive and negative. The course will close with larger picture scenarios of the content discussed, and will also strongly encourage you to think critically and express your own inclinations.

I personally introduce every week by video, and give my analysis of all material. In some weeks I will present new information; however, most of the content of the course comes from engaging videos, lectures, documentaries, and readings. This diversity of resources, authors, speakers, and texts is more appropriate to the study of something so complex as the mind.

Your Instructor

Andrew Kornfeld
Andrew Kornfeld

Andrew Kornfeld, B.A., B.S. is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) where he studied both Neuroscience and Psychology. At UCSC, he co-founded and served as President of the Brain, Mind and Consciousness (BMC) Society, whose mission is to explore human cognition, behavior, and experience through student-led and -directed education. Under his leadership, the BMC has become one of the largest organizations at UCSC and attracted thousands of students through numerous events, two student-led seminars and a six day conference. For his accomplishments, he received an Award of Special Achievement from the Department of Psychology and the Dean’s Award in Undergraduate Education.

While not teaching at Ubiquity, Andrew serves as Director of Communications and New Patient Services at Recovery Without Walls, an innovative and evidence-based medical program in the treatment of chronic pain and chemical dependency.

Andrew is also an avid writer. He has co-authored an article on obscure drugs of abuse for the medical journal, Marin Medicine. He also previously co-authored a chapter in the the Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on Transpersonal Psychology on the neurobiology of psychedelic compounds, where he served as the only author without a graduate degree. He has published papers alongside his father, Dr. Howard Kornfeld, in the field of psychopharmacology. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on the neuroscience of psychological trauma and novel treatments.

Class Curriculum

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All courses and all Learning Journeys are open to lifelong learners and all students for credit toward their degrees and also for certificates.

If ready to register for specific courses, select a registration option below or email Registrar Stacy Newman.

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For further information, please contact Ubiquity's Director of Admissions and Student Support, Constantina Clark.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
If you purchase the Lite version, it is completely self-paced and so you decide when you start, when you end and how long you take. If you purchase the Immersive or Academic versions, you take the course with other students and a Course Facilitator. For these versions, there are three starts per year - the beginning of January, May and September.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.