You may or may not be in school but you’re probably well aware that universities offer some pretty unique courses. How about a class called “Calling Bullsh*t”? It’s a real 3-credit course offered at the University of Washington and you might just want to take it.

The course is part of UW’s Information Studies and Biology programs but was developed by Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West (both UW profs) to “meet what we see as a major need in higher education nationwide.” As it is such a unique course, it has been featured across many publications and websites like The New Yorker, SFGATE, Forbes, and more.

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So what exactly is the objective of this course? Here’s a sample from the syllabus.

  • Remain vigilant for bullsh*t contaminating your information diet.
  • Recognize said bullsh*t whenever and wherever you encounter it.
  • Figure out for yourself precisely why a particular bit of bullsh*t is bullsh*t.
  • Provide a statistician or fellow scientist with a technical explanation of why a claim is bullsh*t.
  • Provide your crystals-and-homeopathy aunt or casually racist uncle with an accessible and persuasive explanation of why a claim is bullsh*t.

Put simply, the course is all about being aware of what kind of information you’re consuming and how to determine its validity, along with how to deal with folks who may be spreading “bullsh*t”. What’s extra cool about this course is that you really don’t even need to attend The University of Washington to take it. That’s because the whole syllabus is online and there’s also a book version of the information taught in the course.

So if you are currently enrolled at UW this might be a great elective and if you’re not it could be worth checking out. You can find info on both the syllabus and book by clicking here. Enjoy folks!