HST.934J / STS.449J Introduction to Global Medicine: Bioscience, Technologies, Disparities, Strategies

As taught in: Spring 2010

A distorted world map showing the origins of both refugees and internally displaced persons, where Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank appear the largest.

A distorted world map showing the origins of both refugees and internally displaced persons in 2003, where territory size shows the global proportion originating there. (© Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan). Used with permission.)

Level:

Graduate

Instructors:

Prof. Michael M.J. Fischer

Prof. Byron Good

Prof. Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

Prof. David Jones

Course Description

This class provides a space for medical students and MD/PhD students, as well as HASTS (History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society) PhD students to discuss social and ethical issues in the biosciences and biotechnologies as they are being developed. Discussions are with course faculty and with leading figures in developing technologies such as George Daley or George Church in stem cell or genomics research, Bruce Walker or Pardis Sabeti in setting up laboratories in Africa, Paul Farmer and Partners in Health colleagues in building local support systems and first world quality care in Haiti, Peru, and Rwanda, and Amy Farber in building patient-centered therapeutic-outcome research for critical but "orphan" diseases. Goals include stimulating students to think about applying their learning in Boston to countries around the world, including using the experiences they have had in their home countries or research experience abroad. Goals also include a mix of patient-doctor care perspectives from medical anthropology, and moving upstream in the research chain to questions of how to move discoveries from basic research through the pipelines into clinical and bedside care.