Straight Talk about Stem Cells: Another Stanford Course via Podcast

stem5.jpgLast week, we men­tioned The Future of the Inter­net. This week it’s anoth­er course avail­able as a free pod­cast : Straight Talk About Stem Cells (iTunes).

The course was taught by Christo­pher Scott, the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Stan­ford’s Pro­gram on Stem Cells in Soci­ety and the author of Stem Cell Now: An Intro­duc­tion to the Com­ing Med­ical Rev­o­lu­tion. Orig­i­nal­ly taught with­in Stan­ford’s Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies pro­gram, the course was designed with the gen­er­al pub­lic in mind. So it should be quite acces­si­ble. You can now down­load three of the total five lec­tures. Two more will be com­ing soon. (Get it on iTunes here.) Here is the orig­i­nal course descrip­tion for the course.

Biol­o­gy’s Brave New World: Straight Talk about Stem Cells

No area of sci­ence holds such promise for treat­ing dis­ease and improv­ing human lives as stem cell research. But no area of sci­ence caus­es such fun­da­men­tal eth­i­cal con­cern and such fero­cious polit­i­cal con­flict. In this short course, stu­dents will learn the fun­da­men­tals of stem cell biol­o­gy, and study how these pow­er­ful cells could be used to make func­tion­al organs, treat dia­betes or repair spinal cord injuries. With the sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy firm­ly in hand, we will jour­ney into the deep reach­es of the con­tro­ver­sy and exam­ine the inter­na­tion­al explo­sion of stem cell research and how law and pol­i­cy are affect­ing long-held Amer­i­can dom­i­nance in cell biol­o­gy. New sci­ence often pro­vokes a rede­f­i­n­i­tion of eth­i­cal stan­dards. Stem cells have reignit­ed the debate about the embryo, abor­tion, and sci­ence run amok. We will leave the shrill rhetoric behind, dis­cussing the ques­tion at the heart of the debate: How, as a soci­ety, do we bal­ance our respon­si­bil­i­ties to the unborn and the sick?

Check out our larg­er col­lec­tion of free uni­ver­si­ty cours­es.

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