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Course Information

Instructor Info:Marlene Fried
Office Extension x5565
TA Info:Rachel Campbell
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 103
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 103



This course explores contemporary debates over the role of religion and science in public policy, specifically in the areas of sexuality and reproduction. We look both at claims that science and religion are inevitably in conflict, as well as arguments for their compatibility. We will investigate the FDA's refusal to approve over the counter distribution of emergency contraception; claims that abortion is linked to breast cancer and causes a form of post-traumatic stress disorder; the debates over public funding for abstinence-only sexuality education, and coverage of abortion and contraception in the Affordable Care Act, and the Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage. We will look at these issues in the context of broader societal debates over creationism and intelligent design and challenges to claims about the objectivity of science.  Students are required to participate in class discussions, give an oral presentation, write short essays based on the readings and a final research paper or project.