BI326 Ethics in Science

for SP 2009

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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 2009 HO


Hoffman, Brian L.


Professor of Biology


BA - Park College - Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics - 1986
PhD - St Louis University - Cell and Molecular Biology - 1996

Office Location

SC 103

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time

7:20 - 8:35 AM

Credit Hours


Elements of Bioethics - Gregory Pence - McGraw-Hill - ISBN 0073132772

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.
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Course Description:
BI326 Ethics in Science: 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

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:

Assessment of this class will involve:
   Two examinations
   Active participation in discussions
   Student group presentations
   Interpretation of positions on ethical issues
   Final write-up of an ethical issue


Exams -- 2 @ 100 pts. - 200 pts
Final Paper -- 1@ 200 pts
Participation -- 100 pt.
Student Group Presentations -- 100 pt.
Total Points -- 600 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late homework will be reduced in credit by 25% for each day or part of day that the work is late. Students missing class due to participation in athletic or other school-sponsored events must turn in all homework PRIOR to their absence. Exceptions: students who miss class due to an extended illness requiring hospitalization will be allowed to make up missed homework assignments. Other cases may be considered at the discretion of the instructor.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

A. Cellular Phones, Beepers, Other Communications Devices

While in class, the class should be your primary focus. Disruption of class due to communications devices has become so prevalent that they are a major distraction in class (to you, to the instructor and to other students). For this reason such devices must not be brought to class or must be inactivated during class (lecture and laboratory).

B. Student Alcohol or Drug Use

Because the classroom is a professional environment students who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be removed from class. This also meets our legal obligation to provide a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. Such instances will be reported to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Students will not be admitted back into class unless such arrangements are made through the V.P. for Academic Affairs.

C. Student Work, Appointments...Etc.

The student who has signed up for the course has made an obligation to participate in those activities scheduled during regular class times. The student must not make other obligations during this time, or that student alone will be responsible for the consequences. The consequences may include reduced or no credit for that portion of the class and inability to make-up the missed work.

D. Withdrawals

The enrollment status of the student in this course is solely the responsibility of the student. If you wish to change your status in this course, be sure that you file the appropriate paperwork with the registrar before the appropriate deadlines. If you wish to drop, do not just stop coming to class!!! Two weeks of consecutive absences will result in your removal from the class. If you do not file withdrawal papers with the Registrar, you will receive an F in this course.

E. Extra Credit

It is your responsibility to get work done on time in an acceptable form. For this reason, no extra credit will be extended during the course of the semester.

F. Technology Issues

Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drive 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.

G. Make-Up Examinations

The student will be given the opportunity to make-up one examination during the course of the semester, provided that an adequate excuse is provided to the instructor within 24 hours of the missed examination. The instructor will be the final judge of what constitutes an adequate excuse. The makeup examination will be administered on Friday of finals week at 8:00 AM and will be a cumulative final.

If you miss two exams, one will be scored as a zero and included in your examination average. Missing three examinations will result in a grade of "F" for the course. Four lecture examinations are scheduled for this semester. Your examination average will be calculated from all four test scores. If you feel that one test score is not representative of your effort, you may opt to take the make-up examination.  Failure to sit for the final examination will result in a grade of "F" for the course.

athletes involved in sports contests or students participating in other school-sponsored events will be allowed to take the examination prior to the scheduled date. The instructor must be given prior notice of such an event.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1 Introduction & Theories
Week 2 Ethical Theories
Week 3 Scientific Integrity and Experimentation
Week 4 End of Life Ethics, Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia
Week 5 Continued
Week 6 EXAM
Week 7 Organ Transplantation and Experimentation
Week 8 Abortion, Reproductive Technologies
Week 9 Continued
Week 10 Stem Cell Research
Week 11 Continued
Week 12 Genetic Privacy & Human Genome
Week 13 Continued
Week 14 Environmental Ethics
Week 15 Continued
Week 16

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 "F".
  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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
Attendance at all class meetings is mandatory. Part of the education of college is preparation for professional conduct. Attendance at work or graduate or professional school is mandatory for remaining employed or in school. Get in the habit of being here all of the time now. Education is also a cooperative effort. You are as responsible for furthering the education of your fellow classmates and the instructor as the instructor is for yours.

It is recognized that personal emergencies will arise during the course of the semester. Three absences (for any reason: illness, personal appointments, doctors appointments car problems...etc.) are allowed without penalty. After 3 absences, 5% will be deducted from the students grade for each subsequent absence. Eight absences is considered excessive, and the student missing eight classes will fail the course. Students who miss class will be responsible for the assignments made and material covered in that class period. Students who enter class after roll is taken will be counted tardy. Two tardies count as an absence. Students who are 15 minutes late (by my watch) will be counted absent.

Exceptions: Athletes who miss class for an athletic contest or students who miss class due to other school sponsored events will not be penalized IF AND ONLY IF THE INSTRUCTOR IS GIVEN TWO LECTURE MEETINGS PRIOR NOTICE AND WORK IS TURNED IN AND EXAMS TAKEN BEFORE THE CLASS IS MISSED!!!!!!!!!! If you have an illness that requires extended hospitalization, have someone contact me!

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


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Last Updated:1/5/2009 6:30:49 PM