Research and practice in the sciences often rests on the unquestioned assertion of impartial analyses of facts. This course will take a data-informed approach to understanding how human biases can, and have, affected progress in the sciences in general, and in biology in particular. Case studies may include reviews of how science has been used to justify or sustain racism, colonialism, slavery, and the exploitation of marginalized groups. Links will be drawn to contemporary societal challenges and practices. Topics will include how biases can shape science in terms of those doing the research, the questions under study, and the types of knowledge that inform practice and teaching. Data on bias and societal costs of bias will be reviewed, as well as evidence-informed practices, structures, and individual actions which could ensure that science disrupts, rather than enables, social inequities.
Enrolment limit would be 100