Learn the basics of genetic engineering and biotechnology and examine why the GMO is politically contentious. Participants will gain an understanding of how science works, its limits, and how the interaction of these factors leads to decision making.
What exactly are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and why do scientists develop them? Studying the science of GMOs helps us understand biotechnology’s potential role in addressing challenges in agriculture.
In this introductory Food and Nutrition course, you will learn the basics of genetic engineering, explore the political debate around the GMO and review the arguments for and against their use.
We will study the politics surrounding the GMO and its impact at both an individual level and to society as a whole; including the problems, perceptions, benefits, and risks associated with GMOs. Important to understanding the complexities around this topic we will not only be looking at the science behind how the GMO works, but also to the limitations of this science. We will also discuss the importance of information literacy as a tool for effectively identifying and evaluating issues.
Our goal is that this MOOC will impact people's understanding of science, what it can and can't do, and how information is transmitted. The intent is not to influence how people feel about GMOs, but to give them the critical thinking and scientific literacy tools necessary to make informed decisions — and to understand the broader impacts of those decisions.
What you'll learn:
- Assess, understand and apply social science concepts as they affect the development and use of biotechnology products and processes
- Gain an understanding of how biotechnology intersects with globalization, trade, poverty, food security, and environmental sustainability
- Understand and evaluate research articles and research methods related to biotech crops
- Learn to formulate well-structured research questions, recognize appropriate research methods, and assess research reports
- Craft thoughtful and effective arguments, with supporting evidence at the intersection of science and social science on issues of public policy
This course is designed to be accessible for people without a strong Biology background. Since there may be references to content that may be unfamiliar to some students, we have provided additional information under the resources tab.
How have advances in genetics affected society? What do we need to know to make ethical decisions about genetic technologies? This course includes the study of cloning, genetic enhancement, and ownership of genetic information. Course participants will acquire the tools to explore the ethics of modern genetics and learn how to integrate these issues into their classrooms.
MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – enable students around the world to take university courses online. This guide, by the instructors of edX’s most successful MOOC in 2013-2014, Principles of Written English (based on both enrollments and rate of completion), advises current and future students how to get the most out of their online study, covering areas such as what types of courses are offered and who offers them, what resources students need, how to register, how to work effectively with other students, how to interact with professors and staff, and how to handle assignments. This second edition offers a new chapter on how to stay motivated. This book is suitable for both native and non-native speakers of English, and is applicable to MOOC classes on any subject (and indeed, for just about any type of online study).