Biology (BIOL) - Genetics & Society: Our Genes, Our Choices

BIOL 3557  Genetics & Society: Our Genes, Our Choices


Three hours of lecture per week for one term.




This course will examine ethical, philosophical, and religious issues raised by the rapidly advancing field of molecular biology and genetics. Topics will include an introduction to science, pseudoscience, and skepticism; the history of eugenics; the significance of the Human Genome Project; the social implications of research into the genetic basis of behaviour; issues of privacy relating to genomic profiling; genetic screening; reproductive technology and human cloning; genetically modified organisms; patent rights; xenotransplantation; and discussion of the potential and perils of increasing human lifespan through biomedical advances. Questions of resource allocation and access will also be considered. An emphasis will be placed on critical thinking, formulation of logical argument, and the recognition and personal resolution of ethical dilemmas.

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