San Jac, HCC philosophy faculty tackle truth, falsehood in social media age

Submitted by neesha.hosein on Mon, 11/14/2022 - 10:31 AM

Red Pill

How do you spot truth amid a barrage of information on social media?

In their joint panel discussion “What Is the Real Red Pill? True and False in the Age of Social Media,” San Jacinto College and Houston Community College philosophy faculty tackled critical thinking Oct. 25 at the South Campus.

The event coincided with the recent release of the OpenStax Introduction to Philosophy first edition textbook. After the panel discussion, OpenStax hosted a reception for students, faculty, and other guests.

San Jac has partnered with OpenStax for more than 12 years. This nonprofit Rice University initiative offers free open educational resources to faculty and students as an alternative to high-cost textbooks.

San Jac sociology professor Tonja Conerly and HCC philosophy department chair Dr. Nathan Smith helped organize the panel discussion. Conerly was the senior contributing author of OpenStax’s Introduction to Sociology third edition textbook, and Smith the senior contributing author of the new Introduction to Philosophy textbook.

“With the promotion of the new philosophy textbook, we wanted to continue our joint efforts, creating a lecture on social media through the eyes of philosophers and involve students and faculty from both colleges,” Conerly said.

Smith led the discussion, along with San Jac philosophy professors Ferdinand Durano, Robert Gaddie, and Thi Lam and HCC philosophy professor Parish Conkling.

The event also raised awareness of open educational resources, which help make education more equitable for all. At San Jac, students can register for “Open Books” classes that use free or low-cost materials like OpenStax textbooks.

“The use of OpenStax has saved San Jac students millions of dollars in textbook costs,” Conerly said. “As the former OER grant director for San Jac and currently a board member of OER, I know the importance of providing free textbooks to our students at a minority-serving institution.”   

View photos of the event on Flickr.