The course centered on ideas associated with Pluralism as applied to scientific practice. Pluralism itself has had a long tradition in the historical and political study but has only rarely been applied to science studies.
Sessions examined the historical development of science towards an increasingly monistic practice and consider the philosophical and practical promises as well as challenges of driving science in a more pluralistic direction.
This course discussed the benefits and limits of such a pluralistic idea of science and how it translates into practice.
Recipient: Rishi Goyal(Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the Medicine Literature and Society Major at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society)
Course Type: Seminar offered Spring 2019
The social realist novel that understood subjectivity as a psychological phenomenon is being challenged by a new cultural form – the neurocognitive novel. The neurocognitive novel explains human behavior and experience in terms of neural process.
The brain-centered view of neuroscience emphasizes wiring, neural circuitry, and network flows, all of which overlap with the current interest in all things digital. This class explored the relationship between neuroscientific theories of the self and contemporary transformations in the novel.
Students read novels, neuroscientific theory, and popular works of neuroscience to understand the exchange between scientific and cultural forms of thought.
Recipients: Rishi Goyal (Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the Medicine Literature and Society Major at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society) and Robert Pollack (Professor of Biological Sciences).
This course is the result of a Sunday Dinner Series and the syllabus was partially developed by Neci Whye and Ewoma Ogbaudu (both Columbia University undergraduate students), who also served as TAs.
Course Type: Service learning workshop offered in Spring 2018, Spring 2019, and Spring 2020.
There is a significant correlation between race and health in the United States. People of color and those from underserved populations have higher mortality rates than their white counterparts. Differences in health outcomes have been attributed to biological factors as race has been naturalized.
The class explore the history of the idea of “race” in the context of changing biomedical knowledge formations. Ultimately, this course addressed the social implications of race on health within the classroom and beyond.
In addition to the seminar, students were expected to volunteer at a community organization weekly. This volunteer work opened an avenue for students to go beyond the walls of their classrooms while learning from and positively impacting their community.
Course Type: Seminar offered in Spring 2020 and Summer 2021.
This course explores the relation between music, sound, and ecologies. We will study the rise of new disciplinary formations such as zoomusicology, artistic interventions in acoustic ecology, and the anthropology of sound.
The course will also unpack the challenges of decolonial thought to assumptions about listening and sounds in humans and non-humans.
We will explore the relation between music and the anthropocene, human and non-human acoustic modes of expression in Western and non-Western thought. The class will also study interactions between the environmental sciences, biology, neuroscience, sounds, composers, and musicians.
The science of genetics has impacted how human beings define, heal, and transform themselves. This course looked at philosophical issues that have arisen from biomedical genetics, including fundamental questions about the nature of the gene itself and its role in the history of medicine.
Students considered how genes have featured in changing understandings of human nature, focusing on recent public projects like the Human Genome Project and the Precision Medicine Initiative.
The course explored of the ethical repercussions of the rise of genetics, such as ownership of genetic data, biomedical engineering, and genetic enhancement.