The objective of the
journal assignment is for students to explore their own values and ethics in
the context of scientific issues that are raised by media articles, TV programs,
science classes, lab exercises, research experiences etc. as well as reading
and other class assignments. It is
hoped that the journal will be useful resource for students over the years as
they continue their own exploration of ethical themes throughout professional
should be submitted:
With the last 4 digits of
your NMSU ID, NOT your name, on the header of every page
in Arial 11 pt font
(175 POINTS) DUE DATE: November 27
Assemble the following items and submit them typed and
Discussion with other students, faculty, advisors etc
is encouraged during preparation of this journal.
A. Philosophical Perspectives (30
Access the following websites and select and print and
read ONE article from GROUP A and ONE article from GROUP B for your journal.
Prepare a commentary (4-6 paragraphs) about each
article. Some suggestions for discussion: why you chose the article, what
you found informative and provocative about the article, what you gained from
reading and thinking about it, links between the thoughts and opinions
expressed by the authors and prevailing attitudes and assumptions about
science and the scientific process among scientists you know.
1. Rene Descartes
on the method of rightly conducting the reason and seeking for truth in
2. Immanuel Kant (1785)
to the Metaphysics of Morals
3. John Locke (1869) An Essay
concerning Human Understanding
4. John Stuart Mill
Bertrand Russell (1924) ICARUS
or The Future of Science
Thomas Kuhn (1962) The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions
(1966) Objective Knowledge
Paul Feyerabend (1975) Against
Method: Outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge
B. Animals in Research (30 points)
Visit this website dedicated to Peter Singer
and read THREE articles that argue against the use of animals in research.
Prepare a 2-3 page commentary on Singer's views as compared with the
Chapter by Macrina. List key arguments for the use of animals and against the use of
animals in research. Cite the articles in your essay
Choices (15 points)
Scientists build polio virus from
scratch In 3-5 paragraphs answer the following: Do
you believe the authors should (a) have conducted the research (b) have
published the research? Justify your position.
D. Humans in Research (50 points)
pts Complete the online course Human
Participant Protections Education
Submit the certificate for credit.
the material on the following websites.
Use the contents to prepare a 20-30 slide powerpoint presentation
at a level suitable for an undergraduate introductory biology class that
summarizes selected material.
Submit a printout of the slides with an introductory paragraph
that explains the rationale behind your presentation design. What topics did you choose and why?
Prior to this class, were you familiar with these topics? How generally do you believe this
information is known?
E. Environmental Ethics and International
Science (20 points)
Diverse perspectives. Access
the following URLS an briefly answer the following questions.
1. What ethical and
societal issues are raised on these web sites? Do you share any of these
2. What is biopiracy?
What are some of the issues being debated in this area?
3. Do you have
concerns regarding the environment in the Las Cruces/El Paso region? Explain.
4. Do you have
concerns regarding bioterrorism
in the Las Cruces/El Paso region? Explain.
Economics: Policy and Funding (20 points)
You are invited to sit on a government panel as a "citizen
representing the community". Your task is to select and
prioritize research areas for funding initiatives from the following list of
fifteen. How would you divide
the fifteen research areas into the following 3 groups? In 4-5
paragraphs, explain the rationale for your funding choices.
GROUP A ABSOLUTELY MUST BE FUNDED.
Top 15 % ONLY 2 RESEARCH AREAS CAN GO HERE
GROUP B MODERATE CHANCE FOR
Next 20 % ONLY 3 RESEARCH AREAS CAN GO HERE
GROUP C NO CHANCE FOR FUNDING.
TEN MUST GO HERE:
THE RESEARCH AREAS:
1. Research in child health and
2. Genetic engineering of crop
plants for increased productivity in areas of low water availability.
3. Research on brain-machine
4. Research on nanomaterials that
will provide better defensive protection for soldiers
5. Development of genetic tests for
all the genes in the human genome.
6. Research to develop alternative
sources of energy
7. Alzheimers research
8. Breast cancer research
9. Diabetes research
10. Research on aging in women
11. Drug therapies to treat
12. Conservation research to
preserve habitats and endangered species
13. Reproductive technologies to
14. Pain research
15. Astrobiology research to study
origins of life in the universe
Original Case Studies (20 points)
Using any material available to you from class
assignments or readings, prepare TWO case studies that explore themes at the
interface of science and ethics. You
are encouraged to use the material from your class presentations to develop
the case studies.
One case study should address responsible conduct in research.
One case study should explore an ethical dilemma raised by