BIOL 6506: Science and Power: A Bioethical Inquiry
This course seeks to extend the consideration of bioethics beyond its usual boundaries by engaging students in a semester-long discussion about health, science, ethics, and power. How do these terms relate to each other, and how is each shaped by shared and/or contested cultural values? How do our deeply-held but historically-specific ideas about the family, nation, gender, money, race, the market, etc. affect how we conceptualize and attempt to solve health problems? What are the most effective ways to improve health on the local, national and/or global level? We use readings in bioethics, cultural theory, public health and history as a basis for addressing these and other questions. The topics we focus on include: the use of human research subjects, the corporate use and corruption of science, health and development, and the science of gender and reproduction.