HSEM 2635H: Germs and Civilization

2 CreditsHonors

This course explores the interaction of human, animals, and microbes and examines how microbes, pathogenic microbes in particular, have influenced human evolution and civilization. The course expects to expose students to the thinking from a historic and interdisciplinary perspective that microbes, especially those causing pandemics and epidemic for centuries, may have played critical roles in influencing human history and shaping modern civilization, although social, cultural, technical, and other factors have been major players. Emphasis will be placed on a few microbes, such as plague, smallpox, yellow fever, malaria, tuberculosis, retrovirus, and influenza and their impacts on important events in human history. Microbes may also impact human evolution as a fraction of human genome is from retrovirus and some genetic diseases including cystic fibrosis in humans may arise from resistance to epidemics of deadly microbes. Knowledge of general microbiology will be introduced but is not a requirement.

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All Instructors

A- Average (3.667)Most Common: A (41%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

17 students
  • 3.45


  • 4.75


  • 4.15


  • 3.70


  • 4.50



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