UC 154 - First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar
Section: 001 Life and Living: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box
Term: FA 2007
Subject: University Courses (UC)
Department: LSA UG: Curriculum Support
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Indeed this is the age of scientific discovery! With each passing day, knowledge in the life sciences is increasing exponentially in many areas, including stem cell biology, patterns of birth defects, and the phenomena of aging, dying and death. This new information, while important to human health, surfaces the complex and intertwining issues of ethics and values that will be of special consideration in this seminar. Each of the daily learning modules and projects in this seminar is designed to expand our current thinking about the intersect between world of scientific discovery and its impact on human health and society.

Biological Perspectives. The plan of the human body can serve as a keystone as we probe the interplay of genes, cells, morphogenesis, and the environment in which we live. A myriad of biological advances could be considered, but three exciting topics especially jump out:

  1. Birth defects and population patterns
  2. Phenomena of aging, dying, and death
  3. Immensely provocative "stem cells"

This last topic alone opens up a world of biological concepts and principles that can influence our understanding of how the human body — your human body — is shaped prior to birth and throughout life. Thus, "life inside the box."

Ethical and Societal Perspectives. However stimulating "life inside the box" may be, that is not the whole story! In the excitement of so many dramatic scientific advances over the last ten years, efforts to understand the ethical implications have not kept pace. It is vital that researchers and clinicians be aware of and sensitive to the legal, cultural, and societal issues spawned by their work. What principles and policies should be in place to guide further research and application of such discoveries? Answering this question focuses our attention on those environmental events occurring outside biology laboratories and outside our own human bodies, i.e., "life outside the box.”

UC 154 - First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
4Enrollment Management
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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