FWIS 170: Genetic Engineering & the Future of Human Evolution

This course is a First-Year Writing Intensive Seminar that Melia designed and is teaching at Rice University (Houston, TX) during the Fall 2019 semester.

“The power to control our species’ genetic future is awesome and terrifying. Deciding how to handle it may be the biggest challenge we have ever faced.”

Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley

FWIS 170 explores the field of genetic engineering, the broad discourse surrounding it, and the aforementioned challenge quoted from Jennifer Doudna, a pioneering biochemist.

The course is divided into three sections: 1) an introduction to the science and history of genetic editing, 2) an examination of the conflicting and converging perspectives on this biotechnology among the various stakeholders, such as biochemists, policy-makers, faith leaders, citizen-scientists, and patients, and 3) an exploration of the future of human evolution.

We will also discuss the importance of science communication, both among scientists and with the general public.

This first-year writing intensive seminar emphasizes critical reading of scholarly literature, analysis of popular media, cross-disciplinary discussion, and research-based writing. 

  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Course Type: Seminar 
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Grade Mode: Standard Letter
  • CRN: 14275
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