Ethics in Science
course requirements.


Course ground rules agreement: Read and sign, indicating that you understand and agree to the rules. If you do not understand them, you must schedule a conference with me to go over them.  This is required before other assignments will be accepted. Due no later than Tuesday, February 13, and worth 2% of your course grade.

Quiz: Understanding (and avoiding) plagiarism:  Delivered online (via Canvas), this quiz is due no later than Friday, February 16, and is worth 4% of your course grade.

Quiz: Basic concepts and background information for case studies:  Delivered online (via Canvas), this quiz is due no later than Friday, February 16, and is worth 5% of your course grade.

Reading response essays:  For 3 of the reading assignments, you will be asked to write a short essay (500 words, approximately 2 typed, double-spaced pages) engaging with some issue or issues in the reading.  (Specific instructions for each reading response essay will be distributed in class.)  The goal of these assignments is to help you read in an active, engaged way, and to encourage you to develop your own views about these issues.  Reading response essays will be assessed for correctness, clarity, and conciseness and returned to you promptly.  You are encouraged to make use of the tutors in the Logic and Philosophy Lab (FOB 231) for additional help with writing for this course.  Reading response essays are due at the beginning of class on the dates listed in the program.  No late reading response essays will be accepted, but I will drop your lowest reading response essay grade before calculating your final grade.  Taken together, the reading response essays will count for 15% of your course grade.

Case study responses:  Over the course of the term, you will explore 4 case studies. After reading the case, you will write an initial response (of approximately 300 words) defending a course of action for the protagonist, participate in a discussion about the case, and then answer some focused questions about the case (the case quiz). Three of the case study responses will be done in class.   One of the case studies will be done as an assignment outside of class, making use of Canvas for an online discussion of the case.  No late case study responses will be accepted, but I will drop your lowest case study initial response grade and your lowest case study quiz grade before calculating your final grade. Taken together, the case study initial responses will count for 12% of your course grade and the case study quizzes will count for 12% or your course grade.

Research reports:  Over the course of the term, each student will locate two articles on a topic relevant to the class and report to the class on each of these articles.  One article must be from the popular press and the other must be from the scholarly scientific press.  The research report should highlight the assumptions the article makes about science and the norms these assumptions reflect.  The first research report must be posted to Canvas no later than Friday, April 6, 2018 and the second must be posted no later than Friday, May 11, 2018.  The two research reports will count for 15% of your course grade.


Review of an ethics training module: Each student will complete an ethics training activity or module (such as ORI’s interactive movie “The Lab” or a CITI training module accessed through SJSU’s institutional subscription) and write a reflective essay (of approximately 600 words) about this experience. The review of an ethics training module will count for 10% of your course grade. Submitting this review before the last class meeting will earn extra credit points towards your final grade, as indicated in the course schedule.

Final exam:  The final exam is intended to evaluate your grasp of the material from assigned readings, lectures, and class discussions.  It will include shorter objective items (e.g., definitions of key terms) and longer essays that will require that you reflect critically on the course material.  More details on the format and content of the exam will be distributed later in the term.  The final exam will count for 15% of the course grade.

Class participation:  Because dialogue and discussion are central to philosophy, one generally cannot excel in a philosophy class without a passing grade in class participation. Class participation presupposes attendance. Generally, students who miss more than three weeks of class are unlikely to be able to earn sufficient class participation credit to receive a passing participation grade.

I expect that you will come to class having done the readings and thought about the issues they raise before our class meetings, and ready to participate in general discussion, in-class writing exercises, and periodic small group exercises. Your class participation will count for 10% of your course grade.


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