This course will explore the role of ethics in the biological and physical sciences, emphasizing current topics and case studies. The first half of the course will focus on ethics within the scientific community, with topics including fraud (intentional and unintentional), intellectual property, plagiarism, objectivity in science, and conflicts of interest. The second half of the course will examine ethical issues raised by science, with topics including medical ethics, genetic engineering, and environmental ethics. Panel discussions with researchers will take place several times throughout the quarter. Students will be asked to write evaluations on selected case studies and, following in-class discussions, will be given the opportunity to refute or defend their original opinions. Cases of intentionally misrepresented and faked data are present in published scientific literature. It is immediately clear that faking data is unethical but what are the responsibilities of coauthors and reviewers of research articles? What are some of the current ethical issues related to genetically modified organisms, and CRISPR technologies? A reader and booklet are required. This course is open to all majors.
Normative number of units awarded for the class is 2, with the option of an additional unit awarded for a research project in area of student's interest
On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research National Academy Press