Societal Consequences of Technological Change: Precision Medicine


Units: 3


In this course, students will be exposed to the underlying science and technology behind precision medicine, examples of how it is currently being used to address a wide variety of diseases, future scenarios of how this technology could advance, and the ethical and policy considerations inherent in any innovation.  Using this foundational understanding, you’ll attempt to project potential consequences that could unfold and the impact on the region’s citizens.  Based on this analysis, students will be required to propose interventions that could enhance opportunities or mitigate negative impacts of precision medicine as its further adoption unfolds.  This is a “real world” public policy challenge for regional leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as those on a national and global scale.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Expose students to the underlying science and technologies of precision medicine, and examples of how they are current being used to improve health and prevent disease


  • Help students develop a policy making framework bounded by real world constraints such as resources, the pace of scientific and technological development, political will, and legal and privacy considerations
  • Energize students to develop recommendations under acute uncertainty and limited time frames
  • Challenge students to anticipate change, consider how the human condition might be affected, and develop the discipline to account for unintended and/or unexpected consequences
  • Address problem challenges by gathering expert input and asking critical and well-reasoned questions
  • Communicate recommendations to decision makers on complex issues in concise and defensible presentations