Postgraduate Course: Genetics, Nature and Society (PGSP11024)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Available to all students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Home subject area||Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||Genomics and genetics are quickly evolving sciences and are important sources of technology development. This course considers their social meaning and significance by focusing on key themes including: genes, genetics and genomics as social constructs; nature and naturalness; health, illness and disability; access to genetic tests; public understanding of science; and legal and governance issues that arise.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?||Yes
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|By the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate through oral presentations, written work, and other contributions to the lecture discussions and seminars that they:
- understand the key terms, definitions and concepts underpinning our current understanding of the social aspects of genomics and genetics
- show awareness and understanding of case studies and examples where genomics and genetics raise social issues
- are able to integrate empirical knowledge into theoretical frameworks to generate sustained analysis of social aspects of genomics and genetics
- understand of the intersection of scientific, sociological and political issues in the context of human genomics and genetics
- are familiar with the basic elements involved in innovation systems theory
|Assessment will be by short paper (25%) and choice of long essay (75%).|
||The following weekly topics are indicative only and are subject to change.
Week 1 Introduction to Genetics, Nature and Society
Week 2 Genes, Genetics and Genomics
Week 3 Public Understanding of Science
Week 4 Public Engagement and Public Consultation
Week 5 Genetic Testing
Week 6 Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing
Week 7 Genetics, Genomics, Identity and Politics
Week 8 Intellectual Property in Genomics and Genetics
Week 9 Boundaries Between Species
Week 10 Governance of Genomics and Genetics
||The following readings are indicative only and are subject to change.
Nordmann, A. 2010. A forensics of wishing: technology assessment in the age of technoscience. Poiesis & Praxis: International Journal of Technology Assessment and Ethics of Science. 7 (1-2):5-15.
Stotz, Karola, Paul E. Griffiths, and Rob Knight. 2004. How biologists conceptualize genes: an empirical study. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (4):647-673.
Funtowicz, Silvio O., and Jerome R. Ravetz. 1993. Science for the post-normal age. Futures 25 (7):739-755.
Marteau, Theresa M., and John Weinman. 2006. Self-regulation and the behavioural response to DNA risk information: A theoretical analysis and framework for future research. Social Science & Medicine 62 (6):1360-1368.
Janssens, A. Cecile J. W., Marta Gwinn, Linda A. Bradley, Ben A. Oostra, Cornelia M. van Duijn, and Muin J. Khoury. 2008. A Critical Appraisal of the Scientific Basis of Commercial Genomic Profiles Used to Assess Health Risks and Personalize Health Interventions. American Journal of Human Genetics 82 (3):593-599.
Caulfield, Timothy, and Simrat Harry. 2008. Popular Representations of Race: The News Coverage of BiDil. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 36 (3):485-490.
Castle, D., W.B. Phillips, A. Brown, K. Culver, D. Castrataro, T. Bubela, S. Harmon, G. Dutfield, and P. Barclay. 2010. Knowledge management and the contextualisation of intellectual property rights in innovation systems. SCRIPTed 7:32-50.
Brown, Nik. 2009. Beasting the Embryo: The Metrics of Humanness in the Transpecies Embryo Debate. BioSocieties 4 (2-3):147-163.
Gottweiss, H. 2005. Governing genomics in the 21st century: between risk and uncertainty. New Genetics & Society 24:175-194.
|Course organiser||Prof David Castle
Tel: (0131 6)50 2449
|Course secretary||Miss Lindsay Hunter
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659