Spring 2023  |  PA 5731 Section 001: Emerging Sciences and Technologies: Policy, Ethics and Law (57634)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F only
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Enrollment Requirements:
Grad or Law student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
01/17/2023 - 05/01/2023
Mon, Wed 02:30PM - 03:45PM
UMTC, West Bank
Enrollment Status:
Open (0 of 30 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
This interdisciplinary course will examine issues at the nexus of public policy, ethics, law, and emerging sciences and technologies (ES&T) including nanotechnology, genetic and biomedical engineering, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence. Topics we will explore include the role of science and technology as both a tool for and the subject of policy and law; the policy, ethical, economic, and legal implications of ES&T research and development; environmental and human health risk analysis and regulation (e.g., EPA, FDA, OSHA, and state and local regulatory mechanisms); intellectual property issues; liability issues; and global impacts. Topics will be approached from the perspective of different stakeholders (e.g., federal agencies, industry, academic researchers, the environment, international organizations, and the public) and in the context of different application areas (e.g., drugs, devices, food, agriculture, energy, environmental remediation) using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches. Students with a broad range of interests are encouraged to enroll.
Class Notes:
Class Description:

Recognizing that innovations in emerging science and technology bring great benefits to human welfare but also non-trivial risks to people and environment this course will develop an understanding of how these trade-offs might be balanced in making policy and law. It will show how risk assessment and management, markets and government intervention, and ethics are involved in doing this. We shall consider if green (new) deals make sense in terms of promoting innovation; how intellectual property rights are used to protect innovations including biological materials; and if/how the process and products of innovation raise ethical challenges that disadvantage some. Principles will be applied broadly to innovations including genetic modification, new (nano-) materials, responses to climate change, and artificial intelligence. The course will reflect the uniquely interdisciplinary nature of innovations in science and technology that require collaboration between scientists and engineers from virtually all disciplines, as well as involvement of social scientists, ethicists, lawyers and policy analysts.
Who Should Take This Class?:

Enrollment by students with a broad range of interests is encouraged. There are no science, policy or law prerequisites.
Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, you should understand: how risks and costs and benefits of innovations are weighed in policy; how innovations interact with the economy; what part markets or government intervention play in driving innovation; what part patents play in encouraging innovation; the main ethical issues; how all these aspects are used in shaping policy and law.
Exam Format:

Will be by continuous assessment

For this 3-credit course at graduate level it is expected that you invest at least 9 hours of effort in carrying out the work to deliver successfully. This includes the instructional time of 2.5 hours in class. The precise amount of effort is likely to vary from week to week.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/pcalow_PA5731_Spring2021.pdf (Spring 2021)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
10 December 2020

ClassInfo Links - Spring 2023 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Peter Calow

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