Full course description
We live in a fast-paced and ever-changing world in which scientific and technological practices raise many ethical concerns. Building on the theme that science and technology have both beneficial and detrimental aspects, this course explores the ethical dimensions of a multitude of scientific and technological practices and innovations such as food technologies, cloning, genomics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and big data analyses. We will focus on both current ethical controversies in science and technology as well as long-standing debates. We will ask and discussion questions such as, should research be conducted on animals, and if so, under what conditions? What ethical issues arise as a result of our increasing use of computers? What are scientists’ responsibilities regarding risky technologies? To what extent, and how, should the public be involved in scientific practices? Instead of providing easy answers to these questions, this course will provide concepts and theories for thinking about ethical issues systematically and coherently, and for developing justifiable positions about them.
- Critically analyze the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the ethical dimensions of scientific research and technological innovation
- Understand key ethical frameworks and apply them to practical concerns and problems of science and technology
- Develop and defend positions regarding the ethics of scientific discoveries, scientific research, and the use of a variety of new and emerging technologies
- The Ethics of Invention, by Sheila Jasanoff
- Understanding Ethics, by Torbjӧrn Tännsjӧ