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Biology and Social Justice Case Studies


for Members

Biology and Social Justice Case Studies

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Incorporating political and social context into the undergraduate biology curriculum is a powerful method for attracting and maintaining the interest of students who may otherwise shy away from science due to lack of immediate relevance or role models. This session will provide participants with resources and tools to incorporate issues of social responsibility into the traditional biology curriculum. We will also discuss ways to adapt this pedagogical approach for a variety of courses and educational settings. Come learn how to make learning biology more meaningful and interesting for students!

For more reading and resources on this subject see


Katayoun Chamany, PhD

Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

Katayoun Chamany is Associate Professor of Biology and the founder of the Interdisciplinary Science program of Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts; an undergraduate science program focused on teaching science in the context of society. Trained as geneticist and cell biologist, she uses a socio-political approach and case study method to teach courses in the area of infectious diseases, cell biology, and genetics and its associated technologies. She is the author of Cell Biology for Life, a collection of educational modules published by Garland publishing (

She is the recipient of the Distinguished University Teaching Award, is an active member of the Faculty for the 21st Century of Project Kaleidoscope, a national organization focused on undergraduate science education reform, and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and the Life Sciences Education journal. As a SENCER Leadership Fellow for Science for New Civic Engagements and Social Responsibilities, she has designed course content on stem cell research and tied this the New York Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM Initiative). Her research centers on the role of relevance in biology education, and the impact that case based problem solving has on student learning outcomes for biology majors and liberal arts students. She has hosted numerous faculty development workshops in the area of class management, social justice curricula, and authentic assessment. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1996.

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