Biology and Public Policy
This course will examine the scientific basis of public policy decision making in areas of human health, the environment, energy, and agriculture. A general understanding of the science involved in these areas--predominantly genetics, cell biology, physiology, and ecology--will be applied to topics such as drug and herbicide resistance, endangered species, regulation of biotechnology, microbial sources of energy, control of toxic substances, and the war against cancer. No formal background in biology or policy is required. The course should be particularly useful for non-science students who would like to gain insight into areas of biology of importance to public decision making and to students of public policy who would like a better background on biological issues.