LE: Civic Life and Ethics
Do you eat genetically modified foods, or do you avoid them? Vaccinate, or do not vaccinate? Did you know these are in part insect related questions? Insects make up more than half of the living organisms on this planet, and they have had a profound impact in shaping human society and culture. Even so, insects are swatted, stomped, squished, and otherwise misunderstood. In this course students will explore the complex, and often uncomfortable, relationships between insects and humans and explore the ethical dilemmas posed by our close relationships with the insect world. Ultimately this course examines the interactions between insects and humans, focusing on contemporary topics that explore how insects dictate human actions, policies, and behaviors. Topics include: human perception of insects; basic concepts in insect biology and behavior; environmental and cultural importance of insects; the role of insect pests in determining human food choice; insect vectors and disease transmission; perception and awareness about humanity’s role in nature.