Fall 2007 CRN 99740 M 530-730
Dr. Christian Perring, Department of Philosophy
Classroom RC 318
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [All email to me should have "NSM663" in the subject line]
Office Phone: 244-3349
Office: 330B RC (next to the computer lab)
Office Hours: M 2:30-5:00PM, T 4:30-5:30PM, W 11:30AM-12:50PM
[Note that this syllabus is closely based on that created by Dr Lori Zaikowski. Note also that this may be revised.]
I. Course Description:
Science is often perceived as being an objective and value-free endeavor. However, many issues related to the practice of science and use of technology have ethical implications and are value-laden. An understanding of these issues is critical for all citizens in today's highly technological society. Some of the topics to be discussed include ethical issues related to biotechnology, environmental ethics and justice, research on human and animal subjects, eugenics, the social responsibility of scientists, honesty in obtaining and reporting data, misconduct in science, and the influence of funding sources and competitive pressures on scientists and scientific research.
In this course we will explore and critically evaluate questions such as:
To what extent is science objective and value-free?
How do scientists and non-scientists distinguish between "good" and "bad" science?
To what extent is science influenced by funding sources and by social attitudes toward race, gender and class?
Do scientists and technicians have any special responsibility with regard to the effects of their work on society?
We consider a variety of scientific and social problems such as regional and global environmental degradation, concerns about the rapid development of biotechnology, the potential applications of the results of the human genome project, and issues of international conflict. These topics are explored through readings, class discussions, small group considerations of case studies, film, and presentations.
III. Required (1-9) & Recommended
4. Goldfarb TD, Pritchard M. 2000. Ethics in the Science Classroom: An Instructional Guide for Secondary School Science Teachers with Model Lessons for Classroom Use. Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, Western Michigan University. http://www.wmich.edu/ethics/ESC/index.html
5. Ibsen H. adapted by Miller, A. 1979. An Enemy of the People. NY: Penguin Books.
under Control Council Law No. 10.
7. University of Minnesota Center for
Bioethics. 2003. A Guide to Research Ethics. MN:
8. Zigmond MJ, Fischer BA. 2002. Beyond fabrication and plagiarism: The little murders of everyday science. Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (2): 229-234.
The following are available for purchase or to read free online at http://www.nationalacademies.org/
9. National Academy of Sciences, Committee on the Conduct of Science. 1995. On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.
11. National Academy of Sciences. 2002. Stem Cells and the Future of Regenerative Medicine. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.
12. National Research Council. 1999. Perspectives on Biodiversity: Valuing Its Role in an Everchanging World. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.
IV. Potential Topics for Projects: for specific ideas peruse the references and resources.
Genetic engineering, cloning, genetic screening, gene therapy, access to genetic information
Human genome project
Other biotechnological issues
Societal influences on science
The social responsibility of the scientist
Integrity and misconduct in science; corrective mechanisms
Influence of funding sources on scientific research
Competition vs. collaboration in scientific research
The peer review process
Issues of gender and race in science
Technology and imperialism
Effects of war technologies on the environment and societies
Impact of technology on world view
Conflicts of interest
Environmental racism, environmental ethics, or environmental justice
Research on human subjects
Evolution and human equality
Clinical trials and the FDA Approval Process
Compatibility of Evolutionary Theory with Religion
Issues in Global Warming
The Thalidomide Case
1. Active class participation: attendance, class discussions, small group work (5pts each class)
2. Answers to essay questions and questions posed in the case studies (10 pts each)
3. 4 Projects (50 pts each)
4. Oral presentation (10 pts)
VI. Grading Procedure
All assignments are due on time; absolutely no late assignments will be accepted. If for some reason you are absent from class, you are to post the assignment to the Blackboard Discussion Board on the due date. The points for each assignment are as indicated above. The final grade is obtained by summing the points and taking the percentage of available points.
Each Project must conform to the following format:
1. Title of project
2. Author(s) of the project
3. List which science course(s) and grade level(s) the project is designed for, and how many class periods are required.
4. The kind of teaching activity(ies) employed. For ex: hands-on lab exercise, organized student debate, panel discussion, case study, discussion of ethics issues involved in a science fiction story, etc.)
5. Which one, or more, of the following categories of ethics-related issues best describes the lesson(s): behavior of scientists, behavior of students, specific social issues, research on human or animal subjects, etc.)
6. A listing of the principal ethics/values issues that are raised by the lesson(s).
7. Detailed lesson plan(s), instructions for the teacher, talking points, and materials for the students.
8. A discussion of the appropriate use of the lesson, and the ethics/values issues that the lesson is designed to explore.
9. List the descriptions of the NYS Learning Standards addressed, including those for the core curriculum area for which the lesson is designed. NYS Learning Standards and Core Curricula: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/scirg.html
10. Resources and references. Use APA Style: available on Dowling Library website and at http://www.dowling.edu/library/linksd/links.asp?ID=274 A good book for reference is: “Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide” by James D. Lester.
1l. Post your projects to the appropriate Blackboard Discussion Board before class on the due date.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. 16 Dec. 2004. “Seven Bioscience Challenges.” Action Bioscience. http://www.actionbioscience.org/. Peer-reviewed articles, lesson plans and activities.
Broad W and Wade N. 1983.
Masters and Apprentices (Chapter 8) in Betrayers of Truth.
Chalk R, Frankel MS, Chafer SB. 1980. Professional Ethics Activities in the Scientific and Engineering Societies. Washington (DC): American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Cohen-Almagor R., ed. 2000. Medical Ethics at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Vol. 913. September.
DuMez E. 2000. The role and activities of scientific societies in promoting research integrity. Professional Ethics Report 13 (3) Washington (DC): American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Fletcher H. 1982. My Work with Millikan on the Oil-Drop Experiment. Physics Today, June: 43-47.
Fourtner A, Fourtner C, Herreid C. 1994. Bad blood: A case study of the Tuskegee Syphilis Project. Journal of College Science Teaching. March/April. pp. 277-285.
Garrett JM, Bird SJ. 2000. Ethical issues in communicating science. Sci. and Eng. Ethics. 6: 435-442.
Gilbert SF. 2000.
Developmental Biology. 7th
Gilbert SF, Fausto-Sterling A. 2003. Educating for social responsibility: changing the syllabus of developmental biology. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 47: 237-244.
Goldfarb TD. 1996. Ethics and values in the secondary science classroom. Professional Ethics Report IX:1. American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Goldfarb TD, Pritchard M. 2000. Ethics in the Science Classroom. Center for the Study of Ethics in Society. (18 Dec 2004; www.wmich.edu/ethics/resources.htm)
Jasanoff S. 1999. Knowledge elites and class war. Nature 40: 531.
Johansen CK, Harris DE. 2000. Teaching the ethics of biology. The American Biology Teacher 62 (5): 352-358.
Levine C, ed. 2004. 10th ed. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Bioeethical Issues.
Lovins A. 1991. Technology is the Answer (But What was the Question?)
published as a guest essay, pp. 56-57, in G.
Tyler Miller, Environmental Science 3rd ed.
Lundmark C. 2002. Improving the science curriculum with bioethics. BioScience 52 (10): 881.
Marocco DA. 2000. Biology for the 21st century: The search for a core. The American Biology Teacher 62 (8): 565-569.
McGibben B. 2003.
Enough: Staying Human in an
McInerney JD. 1995. The Human Genome Project and Biology Education. BioScience 45 (11):786-791.
National Geographic. 2004. Global Warming (special issue). September.
National Research Council. 1996. the Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory’s Thyroid Function Study: A Radiological Risk and Ethical Analysis. Committee on Evaluation of 1950’s Air Force Human Health Testing in Alaska Using Iodine-131. Washington (DC): National Academies Press. Available to read free online at http://www.nationalacademies.org/
National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.
National Research Council/Institute of Medicine, Committee on Assessing Integrity in Research Environments. 2002. Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment That Promotes Responsible Conduct. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.
1987. Why Preserve Natural
Variety? Studies in
Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy.
Tribunals under Control Council Law
Post SG, ed. 1999.
Bioethics for students: How do we
know what’s right? Issues
in medicine, animal rights, and the environment.
Post SG, ed. 2004. Encyclopedia of Bioethics. 2nd ed.
Rudolph FB, McIntire
Shapiro DA. 1999. Choosing the Right Thing To Do. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
2000. Writings on an Ethical
1984. Law, Ethics, and
Medicine: Studies in Medical Law.
University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. 2003.
A Guide to Research Ethics.
1989. Science and the Human
Spirit: Contexts for Writing and
Zaikowski L and Garrett J. 2004. A three-tiered approach to enhance undergraduate education in bioethics. BioScience 10: 942-949.
Zigmond MJ, Fischer BA. 2002. Beyond fabrication and plagiarism: The little murders of everyday science. Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (2): 229-234.
Science and ethics Video. Q180.55.M67 S35 1995 (Available in Dowling Library)
NIH Bioethics Resources on the Web: http://bioethics.od.nih.gov/
Research Ethics: Bioethics in Medicine: http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/resrch.html
Topic of Class Discussion
The Practice of Science.
Science, Technology, Ethics and Values.
“Dr. Jana” case
Darsee C.S. #1 (B)
Millikan C.S. #2 (C, P)
Scientific Integrity, Misconduct:
Honesty in obtaining and reporting data, fraud, plagiarism, theft of ideas, misrepresentation of data, whistle blowing.
Scientific Integrity Chapters 1 & 2.
The Role of Competition, Sharing of Scientific Data and Information, and the Assigning Credit for Scientific Discoveries
Documentary: Nova: Secret of Photo 51
Companion website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/photo51/
Race for the Double Helix
Scientific Integrity Chapters 3 & 4.
Discuss a total of 4 cases from Chs 3 & 4. (10 each)
Research on Human Subjects
DVD: In the Shadow of the Reich: Nazi Medicine, directed by John Michalczyk.
The Tuskegee Case Study
Stanley Milgram Experiment
NCI: Human Participant Protections Education
for Research Teams
HHS Protection of Human Subjects
Scientific Integrity Ch 5.
Discuss 2 cases from Ch 5 (10 each)
Pr. 1 due
Miss Evers Boys DVD
Research on Human Subjects: Informed Consent, Social Value and Consequences, Access to Information & Right to Privacy, Nature vs Nurture
Case Study: The XYY Controversy
Discuss 2 more cases from Ch 5 (10 each)
Gorillas in the Mist
APA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals
SJ Bird: The Ethics Of Using Animals in Research
Scientific Integrity Ch 6
Discuss 3 cases from Ch 6 (10 each)
Scientific Integrity Ch 7
Exercise 3: Conflict of Conscience p. 325 (30)
Scientific Integrity Ch 8
Nov 12 Pr. 2 due
Ownership of Data and Intellectual Property
Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
Scientific Integrity Ch 10
“The Winnowing” by Isaac Asimov
The Genome Project: The Technology, Ethical, Legal and Social Issues
Human Genome Project Structured Controversy
Discussion of readings
Discuss 3 cases from Ch 10 (10 each)
Dec 3 Pr. 3 due
Presentations & Mini-Classes
Pr. 4 due
Presentations & Mini-Classes