Governance and Ethics of Biotechnology 1: Gene Drives





About the series
This nanocourse is part of the curriculum offered by the Scientific Citizenship Initiative (SCI) at Harvard, that aims to complement traditional scientific training by examining the social impact of scientific research and emerging technology, exposing students to the multiple roles and institutions that make up the innovation ecosystem, and teaching practical skills, such as how to work with multiple stakeholders. For more information please visit

Description and Assignments:
This nanocourse is one of three offered by the Scientific Citizenship Initiative that will challenge students to explore the public impact of biotechnology; this module focuses on gene drives. Students will engage in simulations where they will draw on key competencies in leadership, communication, and ethics to address complex decisions in multiple biotechnology sectors including research, business, and government. Simulations will be preceded and followed by lessons on the theory undergirding the practice. The course will also introduce career options for graduate degree holders in life sciences and other disciplines, at the intersection of research, implementation, and governance.

Enrollment limit:
The course is limited to 20 students.

Student target:
This nanocourse is aimed at STEM graduate students interested in learning more about how to make science socially responsible and responsive, through developing skills in leadership, ethics, and advanced communication. This interactive course also serves students looking to explore career opportunities outside academia, by introducing the wide range of roles in the technology innovation ecosystem. Attendance is required for both sessions. Priority will be given to graduate students taking the course for credit. In order to receive credit, students must attend all sessions and complete all assignments. Postdocs may register, but will only be granted access to the course as space allows.

Course Instructors
· Angela H. DePace (Co-head Instructor)
· Natalie Kofler (Co-head Instructor)
· Jason Heustis (Co-head Instructor)
Martin Samuels (Co-head Instructor)

· Brian Palmiter (Teaching Assistant)
· Laura Ryan (Teaching Assistant)

Session Dates and Times
· Wednesday, February 19th; 3 pm – 7 pm. Bok Center Learning Lab (Cambridge)
· Friday, February 21st; 3 pm – 5 pm. Warren Alpert 436 (Longwood Campus)
NOTE: Dinner will be served on Wednesday.




Governance & Ethics of Biotechnology Nanocourse Series277 KB