The presidential campaigns are already in full swing. Have you done your research?
Where does the word “influenza” come from and why do we call it that? In the middle ages, people thought that the flu came and went due to the influence of celestial bodies (such as the Sun and Moon). Fortunately, our improved understanding of disease and causes have better equipped us to make everyday decisions that impact our lives. Have you got your flu shot yet?
In Science at the Polls: Biology for Voters, Part 2, learn about our 2015 perspective on cancer, disease of the central nervous system, hunger and obesity, and the quest to prolong our health span. The key message of our course: findings from basic science and medical research have a striking impact on our lives. Learning about these “bench to bedside” success stories will help you make better choices in upcoming elections and in everyday life.
You do not need to have taken Part 1 of the course to take Part 2, but if any of the concepts we present seem unclear, you can always brush up on your “DNA and RNA” in Part 1. Read on for more details about the course in our original blog post and check out our video below. We hope you’ll join us!Enroll Today
We teach biology at UC Berkeley to students who want to become physicians, scientists, or public health professionals.
We decided to teach it because real change for the good in the world comes when society at large (and not just people with a PhD) takes action informed by knowledge. For that to happen, such knowledge cannot belong to the select few – it must belong to all.
We will teach you how to vote smart – at the polling station and in life – when it comes to all things with biology in them.
Cancer. Diet and obesity. Vaccines. GMOs. Lifespan and healthspan. Evolution. Gene editing. We cannot tell you how to vote, of course, but we can give you the basic facts you need to have to make an informed decision. And so, when you’re done with the class, you’ll think about all these, and many other issues, with the confidence of greater understanding.
One of us discovered a protein that may be key to extending human lifespan, and the other one is a co-inventor of human gene editing. We know that our work impacts the real world, and want to help folks, such as yourself, understand what these, and many other, discoveries of biology mean for you and the world at large.
When we taught this course on campus, our students were of every imaginable inclination: English, visual art, economics, math. In class, they asked us questions we seldom get from scientists-in-training. For example, one student, an English major, asked, her voice trembling:
given that the amount of disorder in the world increases as per the laws of thermodynamics – does this mean that the universe is against life?
What an amazing jumping off point for a discussion!
In addition to teaching you the basic facts of life science, we hope this class will inspire you, like it did this student, to ask big questions about the living world around you, and teach you how to find answers to them.
This is a guest post by Professors Jasper Rine and Fyodor Urnov of the University of California, Berkeley, who will be teaching the upcoming course Science at the Polls: Biology for Voters, starting September 9. Profs. Rine and Urnov have won multiple awards for their teaching, and first taught this class on the Berkeley campus before custom-tailoring it for a global audience.
14 Feb 2018
09 Feb 2018