Last 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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