A key theme of this course is that most health outcomes are driven by personal behavior choices, but that those choices are made in the context of the neighborhoods where we live, work, and play. A corollary to this theme is that engaged citizens are healthier citizens (defined as a "resident of a particular city"). The object of this project is to take the principles learned in the classroom and apply them in a community environment: observe an issue in the community, document it through video/audio commentary, then use the tools of advocacy to address the issue.While designed for a Public Health course, this activity can be adapted for any topic where community organizing can lead to positive change.
This course explores the proper role of government in the regulation of the environment. It will help students develop the tools to estimate the costs and benefits of environmental regulations. These tools will be used to evaluate a series of current policy questions, including: Should air and water pollution regulations be tightened or loosened? What are the costs of climate change in the U.S. and abroad? Is there a "Race to the Bottom" in environmental regulation? What is "sustainable development"? How do environmental problems differ in developing countries? Are we running out of oil and other natural resources? Should we be more energy efficient? To gain real world experience, the course is scheduled to include a visit to the MIT cogeneration plant. We will also do an in-class simulation of an air pollution emissions market.
A practicum-style course in anthropological methods of ethnographic fieldwork and writing, intended especially for STS, CMS, HTC, and Sloan graduate students, but open to others with permission of instructor. Depending on student experience in ethnographic reading and practice, the subject is a mix of reading anthropological and science studies ethnographies; and formulating and pursuing ethnographic work in local labs, companies, or other sites.