New Course on Humanity and Future Tech

Author: Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values

The Reilly Center's Science, Technology, and Values minor will offer a new course to undergraduate students on the ethics of emerging technologies this Fall.


Man and Machine: Humanity, Technology, and the Future (STV 10089 (CRN 21118)) will be offered for the first time this Fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:05pm to 6:20pm, in a location TBD. The course will explore rapidly advancing technologies (particularly those related to the human body) such as life extention, human enhancement, reproductive interventions, and human-computer interfaces and the potential ethical and policy dilemmas we will face as these technologies are implemented. Because these issues cut across the conventional lines of academic training and thought, the course will take a crossdisciplinary approach to studying the past, present, and future of technological innovation and the responsibilities of both the designers and users. 

The goal of the course is to give students a variety of theoretical perspectives from which to analyze emerging technologies so they can respond knowledgeably and productively to the sociotechnical dilemmas that will confront us in government, industry, politics, education, and daily life. The course is open to everyone, including incoming freshman. 

Dr. Jessica Baron, from the Reilly Center and History of Science Society, will teach the course. She also teaches courses on the history of medicine and science, ethics, and responsibility. She is the author of the Reilly Center's annual Top 10 List of Ethical Dilemmas and Policy Issues in Science and Technology, which has received international attention. Students in the course will help develop the Reilly Center's 2018 list.