HONORS 306G:

Science, Ethics,  & Society

Course Description & Requirements

       Fall 2007 

(Image by Prof. Pawan Sinha, MIT.)

Instructor
Dr. Elba Serrano

Location and Time

WCHC 206
Wednesdays
2:30-5:00 pm

New Mexico State University

 

WEBSITES FOR STUDENTS

Course archives

 

Updated11/16/07  EES

 

 


Goals
Instructor 
Contact information for Instructor
Textbooks
Schedule of classes 

New!POINTS EARNED  Link

Assignments and important dates

ASSIGNMENTS WEB PAGE

 

PORTFOLIO 

Due dates and Instructions:

Portfolio 1  Submit in class or to Serrano mailbox in Biology Office Foster 275 by 4:30 pm Oct 5

Portfolio 2.  Submit in class Dec 5

 

TERM PAPER

 Examples Wiesel Foundation     Honors 306G 2000

             Term paper web page INSTRUCTIONS
            
Due dates:  Oct 3  Oct 26 

            Nov 28 Instructions for Final Paper

 

CLASS PRESENTATIONS 
             how to prepare a paper for class discussion

 

FINAL EXAM:  DEC 12 1-3 PM

OPEN BOOK, 100 PTS

 

Policies & Procedures
   
Earning your grade
    Grade scale
    Points earned (grades)
    Late assignments
    Attendance
    Guidelines for class discussion
    Syllabus modification
    Students with disabilities
    OTHER

 

 

 

 

 


 

GOALS:  Honors 306G is designed to encourage an understanding of science and scientific inquiry by exploring the ethical and social issues that scientists encounter during the process of scientific investigation. The course encompasses topics from many scientific disciplines, including biology, medicine, physics, and nanoscience. Students are exposed to the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary scientific investigation and to the ethical dilemmas that can arise when scientific advances have ambiguous implications for improving the quality of life. Class sessions emphasize student discussion and use case studies and written assignments as a format for promoting critical discussion of complex topics.  Participation in this course will encourage the student to develop her/his own ethical views regarding science and technology, and will foster awareness of multiple perspectives on ethical issues in the sciences and on the role of scientific integrity in research. This course fulfills General Education requirements. Students from outside the College of Arts and Sciences will receive credit for Viewing a Wider World.

 


 

Instructor

Dr. Elba Serrano
Ph. D. Stanford University
Professor of Biology, Affiliate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Biophysics, Nanoscience

Office

Jett Hall 151

Office hours

MW 11:30- 1:00 pm and by appointment

Telephone

646-5217

email

serrano@nmsu.edu

Appointments

make appointment for other times via email or phone

RequiredTextbooks:

Scientific Integrity, Macrina, 2006

Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers, Seebauer and Barry, 2001

RecommendedTextbooks :

Thought-provoking books 
for your personal library, 
term papers and presentations.

Racial Hygiene,  by Robert Proctor (1988)  Harvard University Press  ISBN 0-674-74578-7

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond (1999)  W.W. Norton & Company  ISBN: 0393317552

Advice for a Young Investigator by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, (1898) MIT Press, ISBN 978-0262681506    
The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1984), by Richard Rhodes, Simon & Schuster ISBN: 978-0684813783
Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next Big Idea (2002), by Mark Ratner, ISBN: 978-0131014008    

Nanotechnology: Science, Innovation, and Opportunity (2005) by Lynn Foster,ISBN  978-0131927568

Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis,  by Robert Proctor (1988)  Harvard University Press  ISBN 0-674-74578-7 

 Science and Other Cultures, by Harding, Figueroa (2003)  Routledge   ISBN: 0415939917

The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science, and Character by Daniel J. Kevles (2000) W.W. Norton & Company   ISBN: 0393319709

In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity by Daniel J. Kevles (1986)  University of California Press  ASIN: 0520057635

Environmental Ethics: An Anthology by Light, Rolston   (2002)   Blackwell Publishers   ISBN: 0631222944

21st Century Complete Guide to Bioterrorism, Biological and Chemical Weapons, Germs and Germ Warfare, Nuclear and Radiation Terrorism (2001)  Progressive Management ISBN: 1931828091

The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story, by Richard Preston ( 2002)  Random House   ISBN: 0375508562

 Fast Food Nation The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,  Eric Schlosser, 2001  HarperCollins   ISBN: 0060938455

 Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn 1995,  Bantam Books    ISBN: 0553375407
 

Textbook Vendors

Textbooks can be obtained at the bookstore or online from vendors such as Amazon and ecampus or Best Book Buys

 



 

 

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES  AND ASSIGNMENTS

 

AUG

22

29

Sept

5

12

19

26

Oct

3

10

17

24

31

Nov

7

14

21

28

Dec

5

 

 

PART 1: PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

 

 

22-Aug

 

INTRODUCTION                     
ETHICAL REASONING

Overview of course content, expectations and requirements
Case studies

29-Aug

Assignment

ETHICAL REASONING
SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY 

Ethics and Philosophy                     
Developing ethical reasoning skills                                       

Introduction to Scientific Misconduct and Research Integrity

Essay paper guidelines

5-Sep

Assignment

SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY 
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

Ethics and the Scientist
    * Regulations
    * Consequences for misconduct
    * Highlights from national cases
Codes of Ethics: Comparisons of student disciplines
Research Integrity
    * Mentoring
     *Scientific Record Keeping

12-Sep

Assignment

SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY 
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

 

 

Research Integrity
    * Authorship and peer review
    * Collaborative research
    * Conflicts of interest
    * Ownership of data and intellectual property
Science and Ethics on the Internet:
    * Database development and global sharing of knowledge
    * Ownership, publishing, veracity of information on the net
    * ELSI and AAAS Ethics Web sites

19-Sep

Assignment

PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
RESEARCH ECONOMICS
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR

 

 

Scientific direction: What kind of science gets done and who decides?
Economics: Federal and private funding of research
    * Government agencies: NSF, NIH, ARO, DOE ( genome project), CDC, USDA
    * Industry
    * Foundations
    * Research funds and educational institutions
Public policy development
Privatization: Pharmaceutical Industry
    * Economic base
    * Best seller" pharmaceutical products
Prozac, Ritalin,
Contraceptives, Steroids, Viagra

26-Sep

Assignment

USE OF ORGANISMS IN RESEARCH

Humans and animals  in experimentation

PART 2: ETHICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES

3-Oct

Assignment

GENETICS

Paper 1: Abstract and sources

Introduction to Genetics

Human Genome Project

Genetic Engineering

5-Oct

 

Portfolio 1 due

 

Submit in class Oct 3

or to

Serrano mailbox in Biology Office Foster 275 by 4:30 pm Oct 5

10-Oct

Assignment

SCIENCE AND POLICY

 

Eugenics: historical perspectives

Race and IQ

Equity in Science 

Science and Human Rights

17-Oct

Assignment

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

 

Overview

Biological Weapons

 

24-Oct

Assignment

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

 

Chemical Weapons

Informatics

Terrorism

Manhattan Project

26-Oct

Paper 2:  Draft 1 due

Submit in class Oct 24

or to

Serrano mailbox in Biology Office Foster 275 by 4:30 pm Oct 26

31-Oct

Assignment

EQUITY IN SCIENCE

INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE

 

Who gets to do science?

Global Perspectives

Biofuels

Regenerative medicine (stem cells)

7-Nov

Assignment

ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

Dr. Jennifer Randall, Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science, NMSU

http://www.nmsu.edu/~govdept/faculty/harvey/home.html

14-Nov

Assignment

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

DISEASE ON A GLOBAL SCALE

 

Dr. Neal Harvey, Department of Government, NMSU

http://www.nmsu.edu/~govdept/faculty/harvey/home.html

 

Social and environmental justice
First World/Third World scientific priorities and conflicts
Disease

28-Nov

Assignment

NANOSCIENCE

HUMAN BIOLOGY

Nov 28: Final paper due

Introduction to Nanoscience

End of Life Care

 

5-Dec

Assignment

PAPER PRESENTATIONS

Portfolio 2 due

 

15 minute talks

FINALS WEEK

Wednesday

Dec 12: 1-3 pm

FINAL EXAM

OPEN BOOK AND NOTES

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Earning your grade:

 

  • In class participation: (300 pts) Based on your contribution to class discussion, activities as session moderator, group leader, debate participant and evidence of preparedness for class.  Two kinds of assignments will be important
    • Presentations.  each week , students will make brief presentations based on assigned readings and analysis of case studies
    • Debates.  During the semester, the class may divide into teams to debate controversial topics of interest to the students.
    • How to prepare a paper for class discussion. To really appreciate an article or paper, you will need to read it at least twice. There are many approaches and with time you will develop your own.  Here are some suggested strategies:
      • Be sure you can restate the keypoints made by the author as she/he has made them (first read). what part of the article is" factual"? opinion?
      • what ethical dilemmas are raised?
      • what new insights did you gain  from  this paper?
      • what points or positions did you disagree with?
      • what arguments or viewpoints did  the author omitted?
      • what did you think of the writing style?
      • if you had one question you could ask the author in person, what would it be?
      • rank the paper (1) excellent, worth my time and I gained a lot (2) average paper, some good points but some weaknesses (3) not a strong paper,  wish I had gone rollerblading instead..

 

  • Portfolio assignment: (300 pts) Students will be asked to prepare a portfolio during the course. The objective of this 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.  The portfolio will be comprised of selected class assignments, some mini-essays and a few "discovery" style essay letters.  Details of the portfolio entries will be posted on the Portfolio web page and links to the assignments will be available from the syllabus and assignments schedule tables.

 

 

Points for the term paper are earned as follows:

      • Sources and description   Oct 3       25 points
      • Draft Version                     Oct 24    100 points
      • Final Version                      Nov 28    175 points
  • Final Exam (100 points). Open book essay questions

 

Grade Scale:

        A 90-100 %

        B 80-89 %

        C 70-79 %

        D 60-69 %

        F < 60 %

        S (Satisfactory) requires a B-

        Note: The grade scale may be curved at the end of the semester at the discretion of the instructor.

Late assignments. 10% of the total points will be deducted for each week the assignment is late. Assignments will not be accepted if handed in more than 2 weeks after the due date.

Attendance: Discussion and debate are essential components of this class, therefore, students are expected to attend all classes except for a documented university business, medical emergency etc.  Documentation must be submitted if you are absent and it is best to inform the instructor in advance if possible if you will need to miss class.    50 points will be deducted from your overall points for each unexcused absence.

S/U Option: Students must meet all requirements of the course.  A grade of B- is required to receive an S in an Honors course.

Withdrawals: It is your responsibility to withdraw from the course. The instructor will not automatically drop you from the course for failure to attend class or to complete exams or assignments.

Incompletes, academic misconduct, and make-up work:  Incompletes will be given only if a student has passed the first half of the course (assignments through October 16) and is precluded from completing the course by a documented illness or family crisis.  Make-ups of assignments for excused absences must be discussed with the instructor within one week of the due date of the assignment. There are no provisions for extra credit work.  Students found guilty of academic misconduct, shall be subject to disciplinary action. 

Important dates:

 

    Sept 12            Term paper sources and description             50 pts               

    Oct 3                 Portfolio  1                                                    150 pts                       

    Oct 10              Term paper  draft version                            100 pts

    Dec 5                Portfolio  2                                                    150 pts

    Nov 28             Term paper  final  version                            150 pts

    TBA                  Final exam Class will meet for two hours    100 pts

 

PLAGIARISM: Students found guilty of plagiarism have engaged in academic misconduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action. The penalty for plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct (as defined in the Student Code of Conduct) is failure of the course: no exceptions. The current University definition of plagiarism can be found at http://www.nmsu.edu/%7Evpsa/SCOC/misconduct.html .  It reads as follows:

 

Plagiarism is using another person’s work without acknowledgment, making it appear to be one’s own.  Any ideas, words, pictures, or other intellectual content taken from another source must be acknowledged in a citation that gives credit to the source. This is irrespective of the origin of the material, including the Internet, other students’ work, unpublished materials, or oral sources.  Intentional and unintentional instances of plagiarism are considered instances of academic misconduct. It is the responsibility of the student submitting the work in question to know, understand, and comply with this policy.If no citation is given, then borrowing any of the following * would be an example of plagiarism.:

 

an idea or opinion, even when put into one’s own words (paraphrase)

a few well-said words, if these are a unique insight

many words, even if one changes most of them

materials assembled by others, for instance quotes or a bibliography

an argument

a pattern of ideas

graphs, pictures, or other illustrations

facts

all or part of an existing paper or other resource

 

* This list is not meant to include all possible examples of plagiarism.

 

Even with a citation, failure to put quotation marks around direct quotations also constitutes plagiarism, because it implies that the writing is your own.   Material should either be paraphrased or clearly designated as a quotation.   Note that replacing words with synonyms, changing verb tense or other minor alterations do not qualify as paraphrasing.

 

OTHER:

 

GUIDELINES FOR CLASS DISCUSSION: During the semester, many opinions will be voiced in the class. You may strongly disagree with some of these, or you may find them amusing. Outbursts can be misinterpreted or counterproductive to meaningful and thoughtful debate. Therefore, it is important that you exercise self-discipline and self-control, and treat all members of the class with the courtesy that you are entitled to receive in turn. The key words are: respect and courtesy. Please turn off cell phones and beepers while in class.       Thank you!

 

SYLLABUS MODIFICATION: The instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus during the semester as considered necessary to enhance the quality of the instruction, to meet the needs of students in the class and to achieve course objectives. Any changes to the syllabus [or to the course schedule] will be announced in class and you are responsible for being aware of them.

 

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:   Additional information is available at http://www.nmsu.edu/~ssd/

  • If you have or believe you have a disability and would benefit from any accommodations, you may wish to self-identify by contacting the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office located at Corbett Center (phone: 646-6840).
  • If you have already registered, please make sure that your instructor receives a copy of the accommodation memorandum from SSD within the first two weeks of classes.  It is your responsibility to inform either your instructor or SSD representative in a timely manner if services/accommodations provided are not meeting your needs.
  • If you have a condition which may affect your ability to exit safely from the premises in an emergency or which may cause an emergency during class, you are encouraged to discuss any concerns with the instructor and/or the SSD Coordinator.

 

EQUITY:  Feel free to call Jerry Nevarez, Director of Institutional Equity, at 505-646-3635 with any questions you may have about NMSU's Non-Discrimination Policy and complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment.

 

ADA:           Feel free to call Michael Armendariz, Coordinator of  Services for Students with Disabilities, at 505-646-6840 with any questions you may have on student issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  All medical information will be treated confidentially.

 

XEROX and/or BACKUP all assignments before submitting them to the instructor.

 

SAVE xeroxes of all graded assignments and exams from this course at least until you have received your final grade.

 

HONORS COMPUTER CLUSTER is available for your use

 

HONORS DIRECTOR:  The Honors Director is Dr. William Eamon.  His office is in the Honors building.  Ms. Gloria Valencia and Ms.Yvonne Flores are Honors College staff.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

WEBSITES FOR STUDENTS

Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • "The College Scholarships, Colleges, and Online Degrees page is designed to offer college-bound, graduate school-bound, and career school bound students of all ages information easy access to information about a wide variety of subjects." http://www.college-scholarships.com/
  • "Since our founding in 1998, Scholarships.com has had one goal: to help students find the money they need to get through college. In the past few years, we've become the largest independent online source for free college scholarship searches and financial aid information. Our mission is to assist students in obtaining college scholarships and to help them and their parents explore the many available scholarship opportunities and any other financial aid information that might prove useful." http://www.scholarships.com/
  • "FastWeb, the Internet's leading scholarship search service, helps students make the decisions that shape their lives: choosing a college, paying for college, and finding jobs and internships. And it's all free. " http://www.fastweb.com/


Internships and Jobs

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

y:Verdana'>JobWEB's Job Searching Engine: http://www.jobweb.org/search/profiles/    JobWEB provides a nationwide search engine that allows you to limit the search to internships exclusively
  • Internship Programs.com http://www.internshipprograms.com/home.asp  "The largest internship community on the Internet!"
  •