University of Wisconsin–Madison

Better Health Through the Humanities

Makenzie Wydra. Photo by Sarah Morton, College of Letters & Science

A new certificate teaches students historical, cultural and philosophical ways people intersect with health care and provides them a broader, more nuanced understanding of health.

Last spring in a Biology and Society course, Makenzie Wydra had an aha moment. Health, she realized, isn’t just the way diseases form and how the body responds to medicines and treatments. It’s so much more, from the way notions of health have developed over time to how individuals and groups experience health care.

The class, taught by assistant professor of history Nicole Nelson, explores the history of biotechnologies, ethics and how scientific developments both shape and are shaped by society. It was exciting to Wydra, who had already taken several science courses as a biology major planning a career in nursing.

Read the full article by Katie Vaughn on the College of Letters & Science’s Website.