The new online course presents a nice foundation of information and is targeted to social and behavioral scientists who wish to engage in transdisciplinary collaborations with a genetic component — although the content would be applicable for any number of people who work in complementary areas. The course, Genetics and Social Science: Expanding Transdisciplinary Research, can be found at www.nchpeg.org/bssr.
From the announcement:
NIH LAUNCHES FIRST ONLINE GENETICS COURSE FOR SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENTISTS
A new genetics educational program(http://www.nchpeg.org/bssr/) will provide social and behavioral scientists with sufficient genetics background to allow them to engage effectively in interdisciplinary research with genetics researchers. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health, partnered with the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics to create the free, Web-based project.
Increasingly, scientific outcomes are not fully explained by genetic, environmental, or social factors alone or as independent contributors. Instead, public health advances and scientific breakthroughs tend to rely on transdisciplinary teams of social scientists and genetic researchers. This creates a greater need among social and behavioral scientists for an understanding of the complexity of the genetic contribution to health, disease and behaviors.
The overarching goal of the course, Genetics and Social Science: Expanding Transdisciplinary Research, is to improve these scientists’ genetics literacy in several key areas, broadly grouped into conversation, imagination, evaluation and integration. The course will provide sufficient knowledge to support the integration of genetics concepts in the behavioral or social scientist’s own research and will allow for collaborative studies with geneticists. The course will provide users with the ability to conceive of progressive but feasible studies. Scientists will develop the skills necessary to assess genetics research for validity and utility.