In 2005, ten Honors students convened in a Think Tank to consider the ethical implications of new genetic technologies. With the guidance of Dr. Ray Gesteland and Dr. Peggy Battin, they explored moral objections to public policy based on limited scientific knowledge and discussed how the available science and technology might be ethically applied to benefit everyone.
Utah’s leading geneticists visited the class to help educate the group. The Think Tank quickly recognized the need for better education in genetic science and its ethical implications. The Think Tank opined that as a world leader in genetic research, the University has a societal obligation to fulfill this educational need.
So the Think Tank students designed a Genetics and Society course and presented it to the University for approval. The new course instructs students in the basics of genetics and gives them an ethical framework with which to analyze the societal implications of genetic advancements.