BI326 Ethics in Science

for SP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


BI 326 Ethics in Science


SP 2012 HO


Taulman, James


Assistant Professor of Biology


PhD Zoology, University of Arkansas, postdoc Conservation Biology/GIS
MS Biology, Central Washington University
BA Math, BS Biology, Univ. Texas at Arlington

Office Location

Sc 101

Office Hours

Mon. and Fri. 9 - 10 AM, 1 - 2 PM, Tue. and Thur. 9 - 10 AM, 2 - 3 PM

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

Jan. 16, 2010 - May 11, 2010

Class Days

Lecture: M/W/F

Class Time

Lecture: 8:00 - 8:50



Credit Hours



Beginning Bioethics:  A text with integrated readings.
Author:  Aaron Ridley

St. Martin's Press

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*       ISBN-13: 978-0312132910



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Additional Resources:


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Course Description:

BI 326.  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 differenc cultures, and the fundamental principles of scientific inquiry.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor will attempt to create a learning environment in which established and new ideas are presented and discussed.  Critical thinking will be encouraged and students will be expected to participate in discussions.  All will be treated with respect.

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:

4 Lecture exams @ 100 points = 400
Research written report and oral presentation = 130 points
Total = 530 points


Grading Scale: 
A = >= 90
B = 80 - 89
C = 70 - 79
D = 60 - 69
F = <= 59

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Students must notify instructor in advance of any absences by phone, email, or message to the Biology Department prior to the day of class or on class day.  Without prior notification of absence makeup tests will not be given.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices must be turned off during class.  In cases of special need cell phones should be set to "vibrate" and calls taken outside of class.  Please inform the instructor of special circumstances under which the student might need to receive cell phone calls during class.  Students suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol well be reported to the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs and removed from class.  Disruptive behavior will result in removal of the student from class for the day and that student receiving an absence for the day.  Multiple disruptions over the semester will lead to withdrawal of the student from class by the instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week/Date                   Topic                                                                                                                         
1, Jan. 18, 20               Introduction, Ethical Principles
2, Jan. 23, 25, 27         Ethical Principles, Film: Burzynski 
3, Jan. 30, Feb. 2         Medical Issues
4, Feb. 6, 8, 10            Medical Issues, Film: Sick Around the World, Test #1, 
5, Feb. 13, 15, 17         Biology/Ag Issues, Film: The World According to Monsanto 
6, Feb. 20, 22, 24         Biology/Ag Issues, Film:  The Future of Food   
7, Feb. 27, 29, Mar. 2   Access to food and water, Film:  Blue Gold  
8, Mar. 5, 7, 9               Energy/Environment Issues, Film:  Gasland, Test #2
9, Mar. 12 - 16             Spring Break
10, Mar. 19, 21, 23       Environment/Energy Issues, Film:  Burning the Future 
11, Mar. 26, 28, 30       Military, foreign policy issues, Wikileaks and whistleblowing
12, Apr. 2, 4, 6             Business/Economy/Social Issues, Film:  The Big One 
13, Apr. 9, 11, 13         Business/Economy/Social Issues, Film:  The Take, Test #3
14, Apr. 16, 18, 20       Business/Economy/Social Issues, Film:  The Inside Job 
15, Apr. 23, 25, 27       Business/Economy/Social Issues, Film:  The Yes Men
16, Apr. 30, May 2, 4    Research reports
17, May 7                      Final Exam, 8:00-10:00

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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:1/13/2012 3:33:11 PM