Course Information

BE9753 Bioethics Seminar

Credits: 3.00

This graduate-level seminar course discusses the ethical issues relevant to today’s bioengineers and molecular and cell biologists. Topics include: Darwin’s theory of evolution; science and religion in twentieth-century America; Intelligent Design Theory; social Darwinism and the concomitant rise of eugenics in Europe and the U.S., the ways in which molecular genetics has challenged historical categories of race; the ethical, social, and legal implications of the Human Genome Project (specifically genetic privacy and testing, human genes and intellectual property); argo-biotechnology and the science, ethics, and politics of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); and the science, politics, and ethics of human-embryonic-stem-cell research. The student is encouraged to think about the way in which debates concerning “nature versus nurture” have been framed historically, in order to understand current controversies over that distinction.