Online Course on Genetics and Society

Études Formations Formation à distance  États-Unis
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American Museum of Natural History and Coursera are together coming up with an online course on Genetics and Society. This course is designed for educators.

In this students will learn the legal and ethical issues of modern-day genetics. This course will also provide an overview of recent genetic discoveries and molecular lab techniques.

Through this course students will get an understanding of the science and technology behind breachs such as therapeutic cloning and the sequencing of the human genome.

This course provides an opportunity to students to discuss issues related to hot-button topics in genetics and they can also have a debate on these. These topics include: If it is ethical to clone your dog, will humans be next? Should we care if our food is genetically modified? What are the pros and cons of gene therapy?

This course consists of content resources, discussion questions, and assignments and help students to bring their understanding of modern genetics and associated ethical issues into their own teaching.

On completing this course, students will get a statement of accomplishment.

Course Begins

This course will begin on 7th July, 2014.

Duration of the Course

This course will run for 4 weeks and students are required to contribute 5 to 8 hours per week. This course will be taught in English followed by English subtitles. This course will end on 4th August 2014.

Course Field

This course will introduce students to Genetics and Society.

Course Syllabus

This course will focus on:

  • an overview of the science of genetics and genomics
  • the science and ethics of cloning
  • the science and ethics of gene therapy
  • the science and ethics of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • learning how to talk to your students about genetics and society

Course Format

This four-week class is informed by the recently released Next Generation Science Standards and will be comprised of weekly lecture videos, articles, discussion questions, and a culminating assignment that will help you integrate what you've learned into your classroom curriculum.


All interested educators are welcome to enroll in this course.

About the Instructor

Rob DeSalle, Ph.D.

Dr. DeSalle works in molecular systematics, microbial evolution, and genomics.

David Randle, Ph.D.

He is currently the Senior Manager of Professional Development and works on programs for teachers though Seminars on Science, the Museum's online graduate level professional development program, and in face-to-face programs through the Museum's Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning.

For more information, go through this link.

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