HONORS 306G
Science, Ethics, 
& Society

Spring 2003 
Course Description & Requirements

Instructor
Dr. Elba Serrano

WCHC 206
Wednesdays
2:30-5:00 pm

updated 03/27/03  ees

Course Archives Honors 306G  Bio 540
Websites for Students


 
Goals
Instructor 
Contact information for Instructor
Textbooks
Schedule of classes 
Assignments Web Page

Policies & Procedures
    GRADING
    GRADE SCALE
    POINTS EARNED (GRADES)
    LATE ASSIGNMENTS
    ATTENDANCE
    GUIDELINES FOR CLASS DISCUSSION
    SYLLABUS MODIFICATION
    STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
    OTHER

Assignments and important dates
    CLASS PRESENTATIONS 
             how to prepare a paper for class discussion
    DEBATES   
              Instructions
    PORTFOLIO 
         Due dates and Instructions: Feb 19   Apr 23
    TERM PAPER
            Term paper web page
           Guide for REVISION of DRAFT version
            Instructions for FINAL VERSION
            Due dates: Feb 5  Mar 12  Apr 23  Apr 30
            Term Paper Examples
    FINAL EXAM : TAKE HOME

OTHER

 


Honors 306G is designed to encourage an understanding of science and scientific inquiry by exploring the ethical and social issues that face scientists during the process of scientific investigation.  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.  The course encompasses topics from many scientific disciplines, including biology, medicine, physics, and computer science. The special themes for Spring 2003 include bioterrorism, environmental ethics, stem cell research, and human cloning.  Class sessions emphasize student discussion and use case studies as a format for debate.  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.  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
Associate Professor of Biology, NMSU
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Biophysics, Sensory Systems
Office Foster Hall 337D
Office hours Monday 12:15-1:15 pm and by appointment
Telephone 646-5217
email eserrano@nmsu.edu
Appointments Sign up on sheet outside FH 337D
OR make appointment for other times via email or phone
RequiredTextbooks:
  • Scientific Integrity, Macrina, 2000
  • Fundamentals of Ethics, Seebauer and Barry, 2001
  • RecommendedTextbooks :

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

  •  Who Owns Life? , by Magnus, Caplan, McGee  (2003)  Prometheus Books  ISBN: 1573929867 
  •  Racial Hygiene,  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
  •  Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond (1999)  W.W. Norton & Company  ISBN: 0393317552
  • 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


    Jan 8 15 22 29 Feb 5 12 19 26 Mar 5 12 19 26 Apr 2 9 16 23 30
    Jan 8 INTRODUCTION
    ETHICAL REASONING
    Overview of course content, expectations and requirements 
    Case studies and articles
    Jan 15
    Assignment
    ETHICAL REASONING 
    SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY 
    PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS 
     
       
           
    Developing ethical reasoning skills
    Introduction to  scientific misconduct and research integrity
      Ethical perspectives from scientists (Feynman, Goodstein) 
    Ethics and Philosophy: 
      Guest Instructor: Dr. Tim Cleveland, NMSU, Philosophy 
    Jan 22
    Assignment
    SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
       
    Ethics and the Scientist 
    • Regulations
    • Consequences for misconduct
    • Highlights from national cases: research integrity in biology and physics
    Codes of Ethics: Comparisons of student disciplines 
    Research Integrity 
    • Mentoring 

    • Scientific Record Keeping
    Jan 29
    Assignment
    SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY  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
    Feb 5
    Assignment
    RESEARCH ECONOMICS 
    AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
           
    Scientific direction: What kind of science gets done and who decides? 
    Economics: Federal and private funding of research Public policy development
    Privatization: Pharmaceutical Industry
    • Economic base
    • Best seller" pharmaceutical products 
      • Prozac, Ritalin, 
        Contraceptives, Steroids, Viagra
    Feb 12
    Assignment
    USE OF ORGANISMS IN RESEARCH General concerns
    Humans and animals  in experimentation 
      Tuskegee, Lynchburg, Human radiation experiments
    Feb 19
    Assignment
    Portfolio 2 
    GENETICS PART 1
     
       
    Introduction to Genetics 
    Human Genome Project 
    Eugenics: historical perspectives 
    Race and IQ 
    Guest lecturer: Dr. Dan Howard, NMSU, Biology
    Feb 26
    Assignment
    GENETICS PART 2
     
    Guest lecturer: Dr. Michele Shuster, NMSU, Biology
    Mar 5
    Assignment
    ENVIRONMENTAL AND 
    AGRICULTURAL ETHICS
    Natural Resource management
    Global Water Resources
      Guest lecturer: Dr. Eric Votava NMSU, Chile Institute, Agronomy and Horticulture
    Mar 12
    Assignment
    Term paper draft due
    INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE
       
         
    Social and environmental justice
    Biopiracy
    First World/Third World priorities and conflicts
    • Genetic Engineering 
    • Pharmaceutical Industry
    • Impact on developing nations 
    • Medicinal Plants
    Mar 19
    Assignment
    INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE  Disease, medicine, and populations
    Access to scientific knowledge: Who gets to do science? who benefits? (DEBATE)
    Mar 26 SPRING BREAK
    Apr 2
    Assignment
    CHEMICAL,  BIOLOGICAL, 
    AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS
    Overview and history
    Manhattan Project 
    Viruses, chemicals, bacteria
    Apr 9
    Assignment
    CHEMICAL,  BIOLOGICAL, 
    AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS 
     
         
    Bioterrorism: agroterrorism,infectious agents
    Storage,  monitoring, decontamination issues
    Scientific freedom vs national security:  Bioterrorism and scientific publishing (DEBATE)
    Apr 16
    Assignment
    RIGHT TO LIVE/RIGHT TO DIE Fertility Research 
    Human cloning
    Euthanasia
    Apr 23
    Assignment
    Term paper due
    Portfolio 2 
    DEBATES student choice of topics
    Apr 30
    Assignment
    STUDENT PAPERS presentations of term papers 
    May 7
    Assignment
    STUDENT PAPERSFINALS WEEK
    1:00-3:00 pm
    presentations of term papers
    FINAL EXAM


    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
    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: Debate and discussion 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 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.  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.

    Important dates:

    Feb 5            Term paper sources and description    50 pts
    Feb 19          Portfolio  1         125 pts
    Mar 12           Term paper  draft version   75 pts
    Apr 16           Portfolio  2        125 pts
    Apr 23           Term paper  final  version  125 pts
    Apr 30           Term paper oral presentation   50 pts
    Exam week:  Term paper oral presentation 50 pts (cont'd)
                           Final exam Class will meet for two hours
    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/index.html
  • 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 Garcia Annex (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 Ms. Jane Spinti, SSD Coordinator.
  • Feel free to call Ms. Elva Telles (EEO/ADA and Employee Relations Director) at 646-3333 with any questions about 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 CLUSTERis available for your use

    HONORS DIRECTOR:     The Honors Director is Dr. Nancy Baker.  Her office is in the Honors building



    WEBSITES FOR STUDENTS
    Scholarships and Financial Aid
    • "This 2001 Colleges, College Scholarships, and Financial Aid page is designed to offer college bound students, parents, and counselors easy access to information on: colleges and universities throughout the United States, free college scholarship and financial aid searches, SAT and ACT test preparation tips, and more." http://www.college-scholarships.com/
    • "The mission of Scholarships.com is to assist students in obtaining scholarship awards for college using the Internet and to help them in exploring the many financial aid opportunities available to students as well as to parents. We provide information and resources necessary to discover the many local, state and national scholarship and grant opportunities available, in addition to the many Federal and private loan options for funding a college education" http://www.scholarships.com/
    • "FastWeb is the nation's recognized leader in helping students make the decisions that shape their lives: choosing a college, paying for college and finding jobs during and after college.  And it's all free" http://www.fastweb.com/fastweb/content/aboutus/index.ptml?


    Internships and Jobs


    u/biosciences/summerprograms.htm
  • Best Bets for Internships Abroad: http://www.cie.uci.edu/iop/internsh.html.   There are literally 100s of opportunities for internships abroad. This  page contains links to related web sites, and listings of some of the more well-known programs. The most helpful resources are noted with gold stars.
  • 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!"