BI326 Ethics in Science

for SP 2008

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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 2008 HO


Sanders, Carol


Associate Professor of Biology


B.S.E. Math Univ of Central Arkansas
M.S.  Univ of Central Arkansas
Ph.D. University of Mississippi

Office Location

SC 105B

Office Hours

9-10 M, F; 8:30-9:30 W; 10-11 T, R; 12-1T

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Jan. 14-May 9, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

7:20 - 8:35 AM

Credit Hours


None required, readings will be made available online or in the library

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:
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:

Assessment of this class will involve:
   Exam covering various philosophical theories
   Active participation in discussions
   Interpretation of positions on ethical issues
   Final write-up of an ethical issue


Exam -- 100 pt.
Final Paper -- 100 pt.
Participation -- 100 pt.
Short Papers -- 100 pt.
Total Points -- 400 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments that are not turned in during class times on the dates assigned will receive a grade of “zero”.

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 prior to class. 

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
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.  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


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Last Updated:12/17/2007 2:13:25 PM