Scientific Literacy for Critical Thinkers

Wednesday, February 2, 5:30-8:30 pm

Online via Zoom

Whether you are caring for clients or just for yourself, asking and being asked scientific questions is a near inevitability for herbalists. From seeking reassurance that herbs do in fact work to sussing out the intricacies of herb-drug interactions, scientific questions can take many forms and be asked at many levels of detail. But how do we ask and answer scientific questions well? How do we figure out what science to trust and what to discard? What safeguards are in place to make sure that published literature is accurate? And what are the ways that the scientific literature can be misleading or the publishing process abused? If you ever asked these questions or any others related to the scientific process, know that you are in good company. The world of science literature can feel opaque, out of reach, and difficult to understand, sometimes even for those deeply embedded within it. This class seeks to peel back the curtain and demystify this process that influences so much of our modern world. 

Topics covered will include the ethics and logic that govern the scientific approach, the benefits and pitfalls of the peer review and journal publishing system, and how to find, access, and read scientific literature. We will spend time exploring the concepts of bias and objectivity, and how a more clear-eyed view of the utility and limitations of science leaves room for spirituality, magic, and wonder to thrive alongside. 

Hannah Rae Behrens is a clinical herbalist, teacher, and farmer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she has lived nearly her entire life. She holds a degree in conservation biology from Middlebury College (2015) and a certificate in clinical herbalism from VCIH (2018). Hannah Rae’s approach to herbal care is deeply informed by her own experience with chronic illness, the science focus of her undergraduate studies, and her childhood in the wild woods and deep waters of her home. Weaving together scientific and traditional understandings, she seeks to provide care that centers self-compassion and the interplay between emotional, physical, and environmental wellbeing. More about Hannah Rae’s herbal work can be found at

$75 general/ $60 members/$40 BIPOC or low-income

Register here.