We explore how effective public policy in health, agriculture/food systems, environment and certain other domains should be informed by evidence that is based in the natural/life and social sciences. We use current examples of challenging policy issues of considerable interest and importance to Columbia, Missouri and the Nation (e.g., in recent years, we discussed health policies pertaining to Medicaid expansion/healthcare access; environmental policies have focused on climate change, energy conservation and sources of energy; food/agriculture policies have included the nutrition/school lunch program, animal welfare and modification of plant and animal genomes). I and invited experts provide background in dialogues with the students, who students are required to seek out additional sources of information/evidence. Students are required to write about and discuss topics in class using a variety of genres (total 3-5 assignments) including a ~5pg group capstone policy statement/proposal. Grades for the course are based upon quality of writing and oral communication/participation.
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