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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Engineering Life: Synbio, Bioethics & Public Policy by Johns Hopkins University

49 ratings
14 reviews

About the Course

Synbio is a diverse field with diverse applications, and the different contexts (e.g., gain-of-function research, biofuels) raise different ethical and governance challenges. The objective of this course is to increase learners’ awareness and understanding of ethical and policy/governance issues that arise in the design, conduct and application of synthetic biology. The course will begin with a short history of recombinant DNA technology and how governance of that science developed and evolved, and progress through a series of areas of application of synbio. Content will be presented in many forms, including not only reading and lectures, but also recorded and live interviews and discussions with scientists, ethicists and policy makers. Learners will have the opportunity to think, write and talk about the issues and challenges in their own work and in real-life case examples. A final project will engage students in the development of governance models for synbio....

Top reviews


Jul 28, 2017

fun and interesting course. very well taught by somebody obviously knowledgeable. Thanks so much.


Jun 16, 2017

Highly thought-provoking. One of the most interesting classes I have taken on Coursera.

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1 - 13 of 13 Reviews for Engineering Life: Synbio, Bioethics & Public Policy

By Juan C G P

Mar 03, 2019

This course has further deepened my passion for bioethics!

Debra JH Mathews delivers the course in a way that makes you feel confident that you can face such difficult questions and the material is very well-chosen and explained.

Thank you for this course!

By Alexis N

Sep 12, 2018

Dr. Matthews is a fantastic instructor; Slide deck is great.

By Vanessa C d C L

Apr 15, 2018

I really enjoyed taking this course. It was very interesting and informative for me. The course allowed me to get a deeper and more broad points of view about the topics of ethical issues related to synthetic biology and biotechnology. Thank you professor Debra Mathews and to all involved in this course!


Jul 28, 2017

fun and interesting course. very well taught by somebody obviously knowledgeable. Thanks so much.

By José E M A

May 13, 2018

I really enjoyed this course, excellent explanations and very good class material.

By Mauricio M P

Aug 14, 2020

Great topics to review bioethics from a bunch of perspectives.


Nov 27, 2018

Nice experience

By Jonathan G

Feb 24, 2018

fascinating course about genetics and disease. However, it's kind of a no-brainer to know that their unethical and ethical ways to use genetics. Lord knows some mad scientist is going to use this technology to create a new disease or some sort of Frankenstein to unleash upon the world.

By Joy S

Nov 07, 2019

pretty good class. kind of technical but gives one some good stuff to think about

By preesha c a

Aug 05, 2020

for some reason I was not getting any feedback on my week 1 quiz, and I tried the quiz so many times and i got the same 60 percent which was unbelievable since I prepared for the quiz, this has been throwing me off

By Michelle B

Sep 22, 2020

many tecchnical problems including grading, several of the readings are no longer on the web where she had linked them (i.e she shouldve uploaded or scanned etc)

potentially fascinating but a total waste of money and time because of all of the technical difficulties as well as the missing links.

By Pranjali V B

Mar 12, 2020

correct marks are not being updated in quizzes

By Deleted A

Jun 03, 2020

Bad course design.