Integrative Biology 35AC & 190 - 'Human Biological Variation'
Instructors: Leslea Hlusko and Tesla Monson
Semesters Offered: Spring 2015 - Present
One of the world’s top ten most widely read websites, with approximately 550 million unique visitors per month, Wikipedia articles are often the number one hit when using a search browser. However, Wikimedia’s race and gender trouble are well-documented. While the reasons for the gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: content is skewed by the lack of participation by women and people of color. The result is an alarming absence in an important repository of shared knowledge. Integrative Biology (IB) 35AC addresses this disparity through student engagement.
In IB 35AC, students are exposed to modern human biological variation from historical, comparative, evolutionary, biomedical, and cultural perspectives. It is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of comparative biology, evolutionary theory, and genetics. A sound understanding of the biology that underlies human variation is essential for grasping the superimposed concepts of ethnicity and self-identity. As such, this course provides an essential foundation for understanding which components of human variation are biological and which are cultural, and how they have affected each other during the course of our evolution.