|Semester 2 Credit Value:||10|
Modern biology has thrown up issues that concern ordinary people, such as genetically modified foods. To decide whether or not such technologies present risks one needs facts, but even with facts the issues remain, since people may agree on the facts but still disagree as to whether or not we should use these technologies (i.e. explore non-scientific issues). The aims of this module are: (1) to outline the scope of the social impact of applied biology and explain some of the main concepts and issues including ethical considerations; (2) to expose students to cases which illustrate ethical dilemmas in biology and use this to help them develop a structured, logical approach to their analysis; (3) to foster an ethos which will help students to apply ethical principles to the applications of biology.
This module comprises of lectures and seminars (ie varying amounts of verbal exchange between the students and the session leader according to what best suits the topic).
Ethical, legal, scientific and sociological aspects are included within the following topics:
1. Ethical principles. Examples of current perceptions of scientists; examples of logical approaches.
2. Genetically modified plants - potential for survival, spread and crossing in the field.
3. Environmental ethics.
4. Experimental animals: legal and ethical principles; pain in animals.
5. Food policy and consumer acceptance.
Three seminars will develop thinking and reasoning skills and apply to bioethics.
|Category||Activity||Number||Length||Student Hours||Academic Staff Contact Hours||Comment|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||3||1:00||3:00||0:00||Preparation of short reports following seminars|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||21:00||21:00||0:00||Preparation of assessed essay|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||22||1:00||22:00||34:00||Includes 3x 2hr seminars|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||1||8:00||8:00||0:00||Additional directed reading linked to lectures|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||24||1:00||24:00||0:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||22||1:00||22:00||0:00||Includes 6hrs seminar prep and 16hrs lecture follow up|
The topics covered are diverse and go well beyond typical biological material and their delivery in the time requires rapid grasp of unfamiliar facts and concepts. This is done through lectures that are delivered mostly with an above average amount of interaction between session leader and students and specified additional reading. The seminars include debate and small-group discussion to give practice in thinking and in developing arguments. The course focusses on a high proportion of time developing practicing thinking and reasoning skills, and is paralleled by a lesser dependence on wider factual reading than in most stage 3 modules.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Other||2||M||45||3 Short written assignments prepared after the relevant seminar (worth 10,15, 20% for Assignments 1,2,3 respectively)|
|Essay||2||M||55||1500 word essay|
Following the debate or small group discussions in the seminars students are required to produce a short written piece covering the topic discussed. As consideration of ethical issues in this way requires development of new skills, the marks awarded will increase over the three pieces of work to reflect the increasing expectations and response to feedback. The assignments will be assessed on all aspects required to produce logical, structured, relevant and well argued comments on an ethical issue.
The essay tests the ability of the students to research and independently identify relevant material and prepare a longer piece of work discussing an ethical question in which they will be expected to demonstrate appropriate skills following previous feedback.
Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.