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Science and Public Policy

504 Altschul Hall

Professors: Philip Ammirato (Biological Sciences), Randall Balmer (Religon), Tim Halpin-Healy (Physics), Peter Juviler (Political Science), Brian Morton (Biological Sciences), Richard Pious (Political Science), Rajiv Sethi (Economics)


As part of the College's mission to prepare scientists, policy-makers, and an educated citizenry for the moral challenges presented by future scientific advances, Barnard offers a unique collection of courses focusing on issues at the frequently volatile intersection point where science, public policy, and societal concerns collide. These courses are interdisciplinary in nature, team-taught by Barnard faculty from a variety of departments, and held in seminar format with limited enrollments, typically juniors and seniors. Recent topics concern ecological vs. financial imperatives in developing Third-World biodiversity, manipulation of the human genome, privacy issues and ethical dilemmas arising from genetic testing, misguided eugenics programs and race science, the Manhattan Project, as well as the Cold War build-up of nuclear arsenals in the United States and former Soviet Union.