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 Wednesday, February 12, 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 14, and is worth 2% 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 14, and is worth 2% of your course grade.

Case study responses:  Over the course of the term, you will explore 3 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).  Two 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 online discussion of the case with your classmates.  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% of your course grade.

Reading quizzes:  For 9 of the reading assignments (indicated with ** in the course schedule), there will be short quizzes (approximately 5 questions per quiz, multiple choice and true/false). The goal of these quizzes is to help you read in an active, engaged way, and to encourage you to come to class with a firm grasp of the facts and arguments presented in the readings.  Each reading quiz will be delivered via Canvas and will come due before the start of the class meeting when we will be discussing the reading assignment.  You will have two attempts for each quiz before the deadline, of which I will count your higher score.  Your 5 highest reading quiz assignments will be counted (which means you can miss up to 4 reading quizzes without penalty – though I encourage you to take more reading quizzes to get feedback on how well you have understood the readings).  Taken together, the reading quizzes will count for 10% of 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 (via our online discussion board) 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 (of approximately 600 words) should highlight the assumptions the article makes about science and the norms these assumptions reflect.  The two research reports will count for 10% 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.

 Manifesto: To explore the issues we will be discussing in this course, you will write a “manifesto” where you articulate and defend your own view about what is involved in being an ethical scientist in the world and about why it matters.  In addition to setting out your own view, your manifesto will engage with readings assigned in this course.  The manifesto should be 750-1000 words.  A draft-for-review is due on March 25.  The final version of the manifesto, revised to respond to feedback, is due on May 4. Manifestoes will be assessed for correctness, clarity, and conciseness.  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.  The manifesto draft-for-review will count for 5% of your course grade. The final version of your manifesto will count for 10% of your course grade.

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:  Dialogue and discussion are central to learning philosophy. 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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