Honors | Science: Ethical Constraints (HON)
H205 | 15373 | Noretta Koertge
This class meets second eight weeks.
Major purposes of scientific inquiry are to understand the natural
world and to better the human condition. Thus Francis Bacon, an
influential figure in early modern science, spoke of “experiments of
light” and “experiments of fruit.” Most accounts of scientific
method focus on designing good experiments and testing hypotheses.
But there are also very important ethical considerations that both
constrain and enhance scientific research.
For example, there are ethical norms intended to insure the safety
and dignity of human subjects. More controversial are the rules
governing the use of animals in scientific studies. We will look at
both sides of this debate. A venerable question still relevant today
is this: Are there some kinds of knowledge that are so potentially
dangerous that we should not investigate them? A possible example is
Requirements for the class include participation in structured
debates, oral presentations, short essays and a final research
paper. There are no exam