Syllabus Entrance
Printer Friendly
Email Syllabus

BI 326 Ethics in Science
Sanders, Carol

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


BI 326 Ethics in Science


SP 2007 HO


Sanders, Carol


Associate Professor of Biology


Ph.D. Biology University of Mississippi

Office Location

SC 105B

Office Hours

Monday 9:00-10:30; Tuesday 1:00-2:30; Wednesday 9:00-10:00; Thursday 11:00-12:00; Friday 10:00-11:00

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Jan 16–May 11, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

8:45 - 10:00 AM



Credit Hours


None required, readings will be placed on reserve in the library and assigned on the internet.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
An examination of the complex ethical issues that arise as a result of modern science. Issues such as genetic therapy, cloning and stem cell research, death and dying, reproductive technologies, genetic privacy, and the allocation of resources will be examined. Topics that arise from the use of humans and other animals in academia and research will also be discussed. The course will include a general overview of ethical theories, moral and religious attitudes from different cultures, and the fundamental principles of scientific integrity. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor’s educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, web sites and current writings.  The instructor will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues, and contradictions. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the main ethical theories (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, rights-based ethics, ethical relativism) and compare and contrast their basic tenets.
  2. Appreciate the diversity of value systems and their interconnection with the cultures in which they are found.
  3. Develop critical thinking skills to better analyze, evaluate, and make ethical decisions about current scientific and social issues, as well as present them both orally and written
  4. Recognize the major ways proposed for resolving value question, and the ability to evaluate them and use them where appropriate.

Core Assessment:

Assignment: Paper describing all sides of an ethical issues, position taken by student, and description of ethical theories applied.

 Assignment Issues
1. Knowledge of main ethical theories
2. Be able to do electronic and manual literature searches
3. Produce an evaluative, critical, cohesive work that is philosophically sound
4. Applies MLA style and satisfies other required mechanics such as length, internal documentation,   correct usage of grammar

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

This is a 300-level course and will be taught in an active learning format in which writing is a way to make thinking visible. Student preparation, therefore, should emphasize reading and thinking prior to class so that reasoned dialog in class occurs regularly.

My intent as instructor is to work toward an increasingly sophisticated bioethical thinking. There is a term paper as well as the expectation of communication through discussion, writing, and revision. In order to reinforce this, there may be several smaller papers of 1-3 page magnitude. Please do not hesitate if you should need to ask for any individual clarification or guidance.

We will begin the course by introducing the realms of ethical theory followed by the various theories relevant to each. At the same time questions will be posed that require both biological and ethical solutions. As thinking is developed, additional ethical theories and topics may be introduced.

Class discussion is intended to serve as a prelude to writing; writing is used as a tool for thinking. While the exact position on any issue is irrelevant, the reasoning exhibited in support of that position is crucial. You will be provided several opportunities for feedback through the writing assignments. In order to provide an opportunity for deeper argument and synthesis, group consultation is strongly encouraged. I encourage and expect a free exchange of conflicting ideas.

Reading Assignments: The required readings are packed with details and complex reasoning. Because of this, it is hard, if not impossible, to achieve a strong understanding of the text through a single reading. I suggest that you read each assignment at least twice. The first reading should give you a general sense of the material, while the second should help fill in important details.

Reflections: You are to record your reflections in a journal of a topic of class discussion or reading. This is meant to provide you with an opportunity to further explore a statement, concept, idea, or ethical issue in a private and unhurried manner. Grading will not be based upon whether I agree with you or not but whether or not you exhibit depth in your exploration of the topic. Correct spelling and grammar are also important. Each entry will probably fill 1-2 pages; however I will be reading for content, not quantity.

The total of the reflections, minipapers, exam, and term paper will be combined to form a portfolio for the class.


Grades for the course are based on an exam (25%), mini written projects (25%), final written project (25%), journals (10%) and participation (15%).

 I want you to do well. Regardless of any pressure you may feel, THOU SHALT NOT LIE, CHEAT, OR STEAL.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  1. While computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive as well as a requirement for PowerPoint, students must recognize that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.  “The computer lab is out of paper” is not an excuse. 
  2. The instructor strives to create an informal and comfortable classroom environment for class discussions. However, this is an educational forum and the students are expected to act accordingly.  Students will treat fellow classmates and the instructor with respect.  Disruptive or deliberately unhelpful viewpoints will not be tolerated
  3. Cell phones should be turned off and kept in either backpack or purse during class. I will pick them up if necessary. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:





1 Jan 16 & 18 Introduction: What is ethics? Morals? What is scientific integrity?
2 Jan 23 & 25 Ethics and morals; moral standards; Utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethical theories (case studies)
3 Jan 30 & Feb 1 Cont’d (case studies)
4 Feb 6 & 8 Cont’d
5 Feb 13 & 15 Exam Applied ethics
6 Feb 20 & 22 Environmental Ethics
7 Feb 27 & Mar 1 GM Foods
8 Mar 6 & 8 New Reproductive technologies
9 Mar 20 & 22 Abortion
10 Mar 27 & 29 Genetic Information: Use and Abuse
11 Apr 3 & 5 Cloning of Animals and Humans including Stem Cell
12 Apr 10 & 12 Who Shall Live When Not All Can Live?
13 Apr 17 & 19 Use of Animals & Humans in Scientific Experimentation
14 Apr 24 & 26 Dealing with Death: Euthanasia & Related Issues
15 May 1 & 3 Confidentiality and the Right to Know
16 Finals  












Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
All written work will be submitted to for plagerism check.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
Attendance at work or graduate/professional school is mandatory for remaining employed or in school and thus is a component of this professional conduct.  Participation is a VERY significant portion of the learning experience in this class and it is difficult to participate when not in attendance; therefore, students are expected to be on time and prepared for all class meetings.  I do recognize that personal emergencies may arise during the course of the semester. Therefore, two absences (for any reason: illness, personal appointments, doctors appointments car problems...etc.) are allowed without penalty. (For any absence beyond two, one percent (1%) of the total accumulated points may be deducted for each absence). Attendance will be checked at each meeting. Two tardies will be counted as one absence.
Students will be held responsible for contacting the instructor prior to class, either via telephone, mail, or email, if they will be late to or absent from a class session.  Any means of contact, regarding the absence, following the class session missed will not be acceptable as an excused absence.  Any student absent from class due to Park University related activities is required to notify the instructor during the class session prior to the absence and to provide a schedule of absences.  Any assignment due during the class session missed, because of the Park University related event, is required to be submitted and/or completed prior to the class session the student is absent.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Uses 5 or more sources to produce a position on an ethical question Uses 4 sources to produce a position on an ethical question Uses 3 or fewer sources to produce a position on an ethical question Uses only 1 source 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Uses information obtained from sources and critical thinking to produce a cohesive presentation including a discussion of where their position fits in the philosophical theories Uses information obtained from sources and critical thinking to produce a cohesive presentation Properly uses information from sources but does not create cohesive presentation Does not exhibit understanding of source 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Superior evaluation of any variation in ethical position Adequately discusses current ethical position with that held previously Does not present a comparison of ethical positions No evaluation of source or ethical position 
1,2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
No factual errors 1 to 2 factual errors 3 to 6 factual errors More than 6 factual errors 
Shows exceptional understanding of concepts and how the different theories relate Effectively understands concepts of different philosophical theories Deficient in understanding of at least one philosophical theory Does not exhibit understanding of any philosophical theory 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
The essay is focused and clearly organized, and shows depth of development. – Ideas are clearly communicated The essay is generally focused and contains some development of ideas; but the discussion may be simplistic or repetitive.  May contain occasional grammatical errors, but the reader is able to understand what is being communicated. The essay may be somewhat unfocused; underdeveloped, or rambling, but it does have some coherence. Problems with the use of language occasionally interfere with the reader's ability to understand what is being communicated: Essay is not coherent, language detracts from the essay 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1,3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
No errors in writing conventions 1 to 3 errors in writing conventions More than 4-8 errors in writing conventions More than 8 errors in writing conventions 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Contains no errors in the following paper format items:
?Page numbers
?Works cited
?Internal documentation
Contains only 1to 3 errors in the following paper format items:
?Page numbers
?Works cited
?Internal documentation
Contains 4 to 9 errors in the following paper format items:
?Page numbers
?Works cited
?Internal documentation
Contains 10 or more errors in the following paper format items:
?Page numbers
?Works cited
Internal documentation


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:1/4/2007 1:31:44 PM