Henrietta Lacks

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Anthropological Genetics

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

“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