This is one of the most unique science courses I've taken as a pre-med at Columbia. Dr. Loike's style of teaching is unique to anything you'll see in your standard 300-person lecture course and frankly a fun, high-energy, breath of fresh air. Whether you are already familiar with the principles of bioethics or a new-comer to the field, Dr. Loike makes the experience educational, timely and relevant. Each week in class a new or upcoming biological technology is presented and the class is made to discuss the bioethical issues that are associated with it as well as how they may be resolved. However, instead of simply opening up the class for debate, 2-3 students begin the discussion by presenting a "scientific theater" presentation of sorts where they are assigned roles (ie. someone who is considering using the technology, the developer of the technology, someone who is against use of the technology, etc) and present bioethical arguments related to the technology through various lenses. The rest of the class then has the opportunity to ask each character questions, or respond to what the characters have said. It was a very unique and fun spin to put on a seminar and often made for the emergence of viewpoints that otherwise may not have even been considered. I genuinely enjoyed going to this seminar (which by the way is just once a week!) and came away with a solid grasp of the principles of bioethics as well as a basic knowledge of many biotechnologies I had been aware had existed.
Dr. Loike also brought in several guest speakers throughout the semester (ie. FBI agents specializing in contagious diseases/bioterrorism). It was super interesting to hear their direct perspectives on their given area of expertise and a nice change of pace from weekly student-led class discussions.
Overall I would definitely recommend this course if you're looking for a nice and easy change of pace from your standard (read: hellish) premed classes. You can tell Dr. Loike is super passionate about his field. His high energy and chosen class style really did make going to class something to look forward to, (unlike that orgo lecture you're still looking for an excuse to skip). Essentially if you want to block out an hour and fifteen minutes once a week to have some intellectually stimulating discussions about bioethics and biotechnology, get an easy A, and get 2 credits out of it, I'd recommend you look no further.