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CAS 420 02: Poisons, Poisons Everywhere – The Art, History, Literature, and Science of Poisons

Toxicology is a science that focuses on the harmful effects that biological, chemical and physical poisons have on people, other animals, and the environment. One of the basic tenants of toxicology has been attributed to Paracelsus (1493-1541), a Swiss physician, alchemist, and astrologer of the German Renaissance. In essence, he said that everything is a poison and only dose separates poison from therapy. In this course, we will establish a shared understanding of some basic toxicological principles, and then focus on how long humans have recognized the existence of poisons and how our understanding and use of poisons have changed over time. We will gather evidence of our understanding from art/music, literature, history and science.