The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

Discovery Core Experience: I&S Course

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself BannerBCORE 107

60-Second Syllabus: The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself: 

An Examination into Dis/misinformation, Democracy, Historically Under-Represented and Marginalized People, and Cybersecurity

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About This Course: 

As technology has evolved, so has the context in which information is conveyed to the masses. This has presented new opportunities and challenges, especially as it relates to democratic forms of government. In the last several years, the United States has increasingly become victim, both from outside and inside the country, to the spread of dis/misinformation. These efforts continue today.

In this course, we will examine the system of government in the United States, including its founding, structure, and both historical and modern challenges. Dis/misinformation works in large part because it leverages perhaps the most powerful emotion we have as humans, fear, in a personally relevant and powerful way. Likewise, it is often successful because of a lack of understanding about people different from ourselves. Thus, a significant focus of this course will include an examination of issues related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, civil rights, and civil liberties.

Additionally, we will explore how our democratic system has come under attack through information warfare. These dis/misinformation campaigns must be combated in a number of ways, including through policy, education, and cybersecurity. The role of cybersecurity will be explored in detail, including both its strengths and limitations. This will include an emphasis on the integrity of information—a core tenet of cybersecurity and the factor most at play with these dis/misinformation campaigns. Additionally, we will take a look at how you can most effectively protect yourself from cybersecurity and privacy threats.

Finally, we will examine why dis/misinformation campaigns and other attacks on nation states and us personally, work. This will involve a dive into the psychology of decision making, risk perception, and why we do the things we do.  

Professor Marc Dupuis (He/Him/His)

Headshot of Marc DupuisAbout Professor Dupuis: 

Marc Dupuis received his Ph.D. in Information Science at the University of Washington in 2014, with an emphasis on Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, and his M.S. in Information Science at UW in 2011. Dr. Dupuis also earned a Master of Public Administration at UW, and a M.A. in Political Science at Western Washington University. Dr. Dupuis taught as a Lecturer in Information Technology and Systems at UW Tacoma, where he was honored as a 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award nominee.

In the classroom, he emphasizes not only technical content, but also the professional development of the student, including how they interact with each other, presentation skills, communication, responsibility, and accountability.


Location: UW1-260L