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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kelly Fryer-Edwards
PHG 590
Seattle Campus

Selected Topics in Public Health Genetics

Tutorials are arranged for a small number of students for in-depth examination of an area of public health genetics, usually of a current nature.

Class description

In this discussion-based, reading-intensive seminar we will explore ethical issues in public health genetics. Academic commentary, personal narratives, science fiction, and film will provide the primary material for our discussions. Topics explored include: cloning, assisted reproduction, prenatal genetic testing, presymptomatic genetic testing, gene therapies, scientific responsibility, and GMOs.

We will use ethical frameworks from Narrative Ethics, Feminist Ethics, and Principlism to examine the course readings and films. The course is appropriate for graduate students in bioethics, public health, health services, and environmental health.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Discussion-based, reading-intensive seminar.

Recommended preparation

The course is appropriate for graduate students in bioethics, public health, health services, and environmental health.

Class assignments and grading

1. Class participation, including close reading and respectful discussion (20%)

2. Class facilitation (20%) Each student will have an opportunity to facilitate an hour of class discussion (in pairs). Sign-up sheets will circulate in Week 2. Facilitation is expected to be interactive and creative.

3. Bi-weekly reflection papers (20%) Every other week I will ask you to bring a 1-2 page reflective essay on the assigned readings or film. Unless otherwise described, the essays are meant to be your personal response to the readings. What did you take away from it? Did your assumptions change as a result of the reading? Do you see your values or beliefs differently after reading?

4. Final Essay Assignment (35%) A 5-7 page essay will be due during finals week. The essay will be your own analysis of the course themes using course texts to illustrate your points. Further details will be given later in the quarter.

5. Self Evaluation (5%) When you hand in your final essay, you must also write a 1-page statement of your own personal lessons from the course. What are you taking away from this seminar? What helped your understanding the most?


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Amber L Curtis
Date: 02/25/2003