Variable Topics Research Seminars: Perspectives in Society and Genetics

Description: Seminar, three hours. Enforced requisites: courses 101 (or Life Sciences 4), M102. Discussion of genetics and society from historical perspective. How science of genetics itself is deeply social. Study of how biologists and anthropologists have conceptualized relations of genes and (social) environment. Reading of accounts of human nature, human flourishing, and dignity that seem to privilege nature as something that can guide ethical thought and action. How these accounts would encourage or discourage people from manipulating their genetic inheritance. Consideration of what is new in new genetics. Current discussions of promise and peril of genetics in relation to society. Culminating paper required. May be repeated once for credit with topic change. Letter grading.

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