Discussion of how infectious agents cause disease and impact society at large. We will examine historical and current examples of plagues and pandemics and consider the question of what we should do to ameliorate the impact of infectious disease in the future. The course is intended for non-majors and will begin by briefly providing necessary background in microbiology and immunology. The primary focus in each subsequent week, however, will be on discussing a particular infectious disease. The course will be broad in scope covering biological, historical, ethical and social implications of each disease.