Proposed Chemistry Course: Postmodern Alchemy
As some of you may be aware, scholars in the humanities are often suspicious and even downright hostile towards the STEM fields. According to them, people who claim that science reveals “knowledge” are playing a trick on everyone. Science is said to be nothing more than the legitimation of certain views that work to exclude other ways of knowing. A greater respect for other knowledge systems is urged.
With this in mind, I am proposing that the university offer a course on Postmodern Alchemy. But you may object: alchemy has been completely debunked. You would be correct with your objection, but none of that matters in today’s university. If the English department can teach Freud as though he were still cutting-edge psychology and Marxism as though it were desirable, then why can’t the chemistry department teach alchemy? All the subject needs is a good coating of postmodern theory to make it relevant.
And in all honesty, an alchemy course would succeed in creating gold. Universities make money off of student enrollments and tons of students would file into a lecture hall to fulfill their science requirement with a course that requires no math. Heck, the course doesn’t even require any science! Students would always succeed at mastering the material because, after all, the failure to derive gold from other elements is at the heart of the subject. And when the course has concluded, the college can inform students of how much their hard work is going to help them in their professional endeavors. Students want to feel good about the work they’ve done and they’ll donate money to Alma Mater if you make them feel good enough about your educational product.
And so you can clearly see that a Postmodern Alchemy course is in the best interests of everybody. Students get to keep their self-esteem and we get to squeeze gold out of blockheads.