This class is about the nature and experience of human differences. One of the most fundamental characteristics of biological organisms is that individuals differ from one another in a variety of ways. Recognition of the nature and importance of those differences was one of the key insights Charles Darwin provided in his ―Origin of Species‖, and understanding variation is essential to understanding the evolutionary history of life on the planet. In humans, variation in certain physical characteristics has been the basis for creating the classifications historically called ―races‖; those racial divisions have also been associated with a wide array of inequities and injustices, from the distribution of wealth and opportunities to genocide. Dr. David Boose Gonzaga University View syllabus
This course will examine the ways in which humans manipulate—and have been manipulated by—the organisms we depend on for food. We will begin by discussing the nature of food, and the genetics, evolution, breeding and molecular engineering of domesticated plants and animals. The second part of the course concerns the biology, technology, and politics of food production and the ways in which food affects human health. Dr. Scott Poethig University of Pennsylvania View Syllabus
Anthropological Genetics The goal of this class is to engage the scope of genetics as it relates to humans; to familiarize anthropology students with the principles of human genetics, especially in those areas in which it differs from genetics of other organisms; and most importantly, to explore the ways in which genetics can be illuminated by anthropological knowledge.
“Social Issues in Biology” is a small reading and discussion class with a maximum of 20 students. Using contemporary and historical examples, discussions examine the social, political and cultural factors that influence science and its presentation to the public. Cases are examined in which biological findings have been misused to influence social policy over such issues as race and gender. We discuss instances in which scientists have been passive in confronting misuse or misrepresentation of science or, alternatively, have been active in publicly exposing such misuses. Specific discussion topics are selected from: history, philosophy of science; evolution vs. creationism; genetics, gender and race; genetic testing; science journalism; genetics and criminality; science in wartime; scientists’ social responsibility; activism in science; theater and the public presentation of science. Microbiology 213: Social Issues in Biology. Jon Beckwith, Roberto Kolter and others Social Issues in Biology
This course will explore the entanglement of biological and social concepts in knowledge about racial and ethnic variation among human populations. The course compares the population genetics understanding of population variation and groupings to the sociological and anthropological conception of the social construction of race and ethnicity. Dr. Aaron Panofsky University of California Los Angeles Syllabus