Non-Credit Mini Course (1) | Science for Humans

Oct 324, 2023
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Joseph VukovLoyola University Chicago

Michael BurnsLoyola University Chicago

Tuesdays, October 3-October 24
6:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Presentation


This event is in-person only. Intended for university students and recent graduates. Others interested in attending please contact

Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.

This non-credit course is cosponsored by the In Lumine Network and made possible through the support of ‘In Lumine: Supporting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide’ (Grant #62372) from the John Templeton Foundation. 

If you haven’t noticed, humanity has some problems. Big problems. Problems we haven’t faced before, brought on by the advent of new technologies. The rise of artificial intelligence; breakthroughs in genetic engineering; the possibility of cognitive and moral enhancement. And that’s just the start. To answer the questions raised by these new technologies, we’re going to need the sharpest minds, equipped with the best insights from scientific, philosophical, and religious sources. Developing the right approach will take a lifetime of work. But you have to start somewhere. That somewhere is here. 


October 3:  Introduction: Science for Humans

October 10: Being Human in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

October 17: Genetic Engineering, or How to “Refine” Humanity

October 24: Transcending Humanity? Transhumanism, Bioenhanced Virtue, and the Quest for Perfection


Joe Vukov is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Associate Director of the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University Chicago. He is also an Affiliate Faculty Member in Catholic Studies and Psychology at Loyola, and the Vice President of Philosopher’s in Jesuit Education. In September 2022, he  published Navigating Faith and Science with Eerdmans and in 2023, he published The Perils of Perfection with New City Press. In 2024, he will be publishing a book on AI and Christianity with New City Press. In 2020, he was named a Sujack Master Teacher and in 2019, was awarded the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen.

Dr. Michael Burns is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Loyola University Chicago. His biomedical research focuses on understanding interactions between bacteria and human cancers, using large sequencing datasets and machine learning. He also works extensively on interdisciplinary teaching and community outreach projects to foster good-faith dialogue between diverse groups and to promote science outreach within religious communities. His teaching also focuses heavily on emergent technologies and existential threats, including climate change, AI, and bioterrorism. As an Innovative Experiential Pedagogy Fellow within Loyola’s Center for Experiential Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS), his teaching and research mentorship relies on evidence-based practices with the goal of providing students with real-world content and experiences. He is the 2023 recipient of the Langerbeck Award for Undergraduate Research Mentoring, and his interdisciplinary teaching is funded by the NEH