Social aspects of biotechnology

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
MED/02 SECS-P/02
Learning objectives
Provide foundational elements from the main disciplines engaged in the societal appraisal of biotechnology (Science and Technology Studies, Bioethics, Biolaw, Biopolitics. Endow students with key methodological resources to develop their crtitical inquiry of current interwtined developments in biotechnological and societal innovation.
To supply students with the basic concepts in relation to: i) healthcare service demand and supply; ii) the application of microeconomic theory to the market for healthcare goods and services; iii) public intervention in the market for healthcare services; iv) Italy's National Health Service and how it operates; v) efficiency and equity in accessing healthcare services; vi) basics of Health Technology Assessment; vii) fundaments of accounting
Expected learning outcomes
Broad awareness of the most relevant intersections between biotechnological and societal innovation
Knowledge and hands-on experince with the most relevant methodological toolkit to analytically dissect those intersections Hand-on training on key skills for the rising demand of new professionals at the interface between biotechnology and society, including industry, bioethics committees, regulatory authorities, public engagement NGOs etc.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Economical politics
Course syllabus
Introduction - Health, healthcare and economic principles;
The concept of efficiency in the allocation of resources and its application to the healthcare sector;
Determinants of health and demand for health: the Grossman model;
Uncertainty and insurance: the problem of adverse selection and moral hazard;
Private goods, public goods and merit goods;
How to govern the healthcare expenditure;
Equity and efficiency in the healthcare sector;
Fundaments of Health Technology Assessment;
The Italian NHS;
Healthcare Systems: different OECD countries' models;
The accounting system in a Hospital; the hospital budget; the use of Diagnoses Related Groups; the contractual model with the separation purchaser/provider of healthcare services.
History of medicine
Course syllabus
Bioethics: introduction to the field and its key methodologies;
Science and Technology Studies: introduction to the field and its key methodologies
Biocapital and biolabor: historical antecedents and the landscape of the current bioeconomy
Analysis of exemplary junctures of sociotecnical innovation in and around the life sciences:
1) Assisted reproduction technologies and genome engineering
2) Digitization of living processes and their implication for regenerative and precision medicine
3) Digitization of living processes and their implication for personal data flow and management
4) Digitization of living processes and their implication for synthetic biology
5) The use of animals
6) The governance of scientific research integrity
7) Property rights and the human body
8) Human bioenhancements: policy perspectives
9) Human genetic variation, classification and "race": the biological and social sides of the debate.
Economical politics
SECS-P/02 - ECONOMIC POLICY - University credits: 5
Lessons: 35 hours
Professor: Brenna Elenka
History of medicine
MED/02 - MEDICAL HISTORY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours