An undergraduate elective course that introduces topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion into discussions of science

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Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education


In this Science, Ethics, and Society elective undergraduate course at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, students consider topics that scientists face continuously, including human and animal subjects, science denial, treatment of scientists, who owns and funds science, personalized medicine and genetics, health disparities, and scientific integrity, all through lenses of inclusion and equity. Students read primary and secondary literature pertaining to each day's topic, upload reflections to a course management system, and engage in structured dialogue in a facilitated classroom environment. Overarching themes address how women and men and their scientific work have been treated or received differently, as well as particular challenges faced by people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those with disabilities. This course helps students see how the culture of science has been created and sustained, how it has not encouraged equal participation, and how it could be shaped differently. Student responses to the course recognize that this approach to the scientific material is valuable and that it does not appear elsewhere in their curriculum.

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