You may have some familiarity with economics, from a course in high school or through various insights gleaned from news reports. But many people who need to consider the economic implications of policy, or who want to understand issues about how resources and wealth are allocated, have scant understanding of the key ideas of the field. This seminar addresses that: it is an introduction to economics as an intellectual discipline. We will look at big issues, such as how the banking collapse in a matter of three weeks in March 2008 could set off a global financial earthquake from which many parts of the world are yet to recover, as well as smaller issues, such as how to avoid paying too much money in a retail store, to provide a framework with which an understanding of the field and its applications will develop. The seminar is also about how economists see the things that matter to us – global warming and loss of biodiversity, hunger, inequality, illness and so forth. The seminar will tackle these issues in a deep and thoughtful manner but in an informal setup. All readings for this class will be short, comfortable and thought-provoking. The only requirement is that you take the readings seriously and come to class to participate in serious discussions.