Here are expanded explanations of the two topics along with simplified versions for children and hypothesized standardized categories:
Topic 1 (expanded): This topic examines epistemological and ethical questions around scientific and mathematical knowledge. It looks at how concepts like objectivity, truth, and reason are understood in different philosophical traditions and how they shape practices in math, science and critical theory. For example, it may compare positivist, interpretivist and critical theory approaches. It likely delves into debates around the value-neutrality of science, the role of power in knowledge production, and the relationship between Western and indigenous knowledge systems.
Simplified (for children): This topic tries to figure out what we know and how we know it. It looks at how scientists, mathematicians and philosophers think about truth and facts. It asks questions like: Is science always objective? Does math describe an objective reality? How do culture and beliefs influence knowledge? It compares different ways of thinking about thinking!
Standardized categories: This could fall under Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mathematics, Critical Theory.
Topic 2 (expanded): This interdisciplinary topic explores complex systems in the natural and built world using concepts and tools from physics, biology, engineering and computer science. It likely integrates ideas like emergence, self-organization, networks, feedback loops, and computational modeling. Possible focuses include investigating the origins of life, developing artificial life forms, analyzing ecosystems or social systems, designing adaptive and intelligent technologies, or theorizing a unified framework for understanding complexity.
Simplified (for children): This topic tries to understand living things, the natural world, and new technologies by mixing ideas from many subjects – like science, math, and computing. It explores how simple rules can lead to complexity, how life emerges from non-life, how the world is interconnected, how to build smart machines and life-like simulations with computers. It takes a holistic view of life, nature and technology.
Standardized categories: This could fall under Complex Systems, Bioinformatics, Artificial Life, Adaptive Systems, Networks and Network Theory.
Scope (hypothesis): These topics suggest broad and deep scope for analysis given their philosophical, theoretical and interdisciplinary nature. The first topic in particular implies a sweeping historical and cross-cultural perspective on knowledge and ethics. The second suggests the potential to investigate complexity at multiple scales and through many disciplinary lenses. So there is a vast scope for original insights, syntheses of ideas, and real-world applications.