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SPARC: Science Courses Taught by SNU Faculty for the Public

  • March 17, 2017
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SPARC website (
SPARC website (

Since 2002, the College of Liberal Studies has been managing the Science &Policy Advanced Research Course (SPARC), where SNU faculty share knowledge of science and technology with leaders of various sectors of society in accessible and relevant ways by incorporating humanities perspectives. The course also aims to examine the development direction of science in Korea.

The three-period course is held once a week -- the first period is a science class, the second period is a global leadership class involving the humanities and the liberal arts, and the third period is an interactive class in which participants share their life experiences. The science class covers topics such as ‘The Secret of Memory,’ ‘Obesity,’ ‘Alpha Go and Machine Learning,’ ‘Gravity: Einstein’s Last Gift,’ ‘Big Bang and the World of the Galaxy,’ and ‘The Story of Cancer Cells.’

The global leadership class that involves the humanities and the liberal arts is a diversified program including ‘The Story of Ballet’ taught by Julia H. Moon, General Director of Universal Ballet, and Professor JunYon Hwang’s ‘Finding the Beauty of Korean Traditional Music.’ In the interactive class -- ‘The Road Not Taken,’ the title of which is inspired by the poem of Robert Frost -- members take on the role of both student and teacher in sharing their life experiences.

The management committee of SPARC includes Professor Seong Keun Kim, Dean of the Department of Chemistry; Emeritus Professor Jong Nam Oh, Senior Advisor at Kim &Chang law firm; Professor Kang Kun Lee (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences); Professor Je Geun Park (Department of Physics and Astrology); and Professor Jongsik Chun (School of Biological Sciences).

Couples are encouraged to enroll together and bring their children to participate in certain course activities. SPARC promotes lifelong education, giving members opportunities to attend courses and participate in workshops even upon completion of the course. There have been 900 graduates of the course thus far. The 31st course of 40 participants began on March 7 and will continue to August 29 this year.

Written by Hye Bin Lee, SNU English Editor,
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,

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