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Science at the Polls: Biology for Voters, Part 1 - University of California



Important information

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Each year, as voters you are asked to make decisions on ballot initiatives on matters of biology, medicine, agriculture and the environment. Enroll in this course to learn how biology and your vote are connected.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Important information

Requirements: We will be assuming background knowledge at the level of a high school biology course. A high school chemistry course would be nice for some of the lectures, but not required. No other science background will be assumed.


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What you'll learn on the course


Course programme

Science plays a crucial role in your decisions as you go about your daily life. The representatives you elect and the legislation you vote on influences science legislation, limits and funding. This class will teach you fundamentals of modern biology to help you make more informed voting decisions. As you learn the fundamentals of Biology, we'll explore the scientific issues sparking political debate:  Evolution vs. creationism Reactions to pandemic disease The risks and benefits of vaccination  How extinctions impact the planet Space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life Sexual behavior We look forward to engaging course discussions about how each vote in a democracy affects the way biology functions in your everyday life.

Additional information

Jasper Rine Jasper Rine is a Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development and has been on the UC Berkeley Faculty since 1982. His research specialties include epigenetics, molecular genetics, human genetic variation, and dog genetics.  He has authored over 170 research papers and has taught a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate level courses to well over 10,000 students. His Bio1A webcasts continue to be watched around the world by students of all ages and interests. In addition to his faculty activities, he served as Director of the LBNL Human Genome Center from 2001-2004, has served on multiple editorial boards, governmental advisory boards, and industrial advisory boards, and has founded several successful biotech companies.