Science in Society

Throughout the videos, I was interested in the intersection between sociology and biology. It was surprising to see just how large a role demographics and geography play in how one benefits from science. This was particularly evident in the talk given by Marlene Zuk, and in ‘Rx for Survival’. Zuk used the mating practices of insects to segue into the issues posed by only using men as model organisms for medical trials. Prior to changes in practices, this meant that many medicines were less effective or had unstudied side effects in women. This example showed me that science does not happen in a vacuum, that scientific advances are not shared universally as soon as they are made.

This was evident in ‘Rx for Survival’, which began with the story of a mother who lost her daughter after childbirth because they did not have access to basic medical facilities. This example struck me personally because I was born 2 months premature and almost definitely would have died shortly after birth were I born in similar circumstances. Again, this video demonstrated that more factors effect science than the pace of research alone. Luckily, the episode provides solace in exploring efforts to improve access to medical care in isolated regions.

On an unrelated note, the video ‘What Will Humans Look Like in 100 Years’ reminded me of another video I have watched about transhumanism and the morality of genetic engineering. ‘Mutant Menu’ explores the moral implications of genetic engineering of human beings and the regulations presently in place about same.

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