Thursday, February 02, 2012

Environmental & Animal Ethics (The Fast and Loose Version)

One of my colleagues, Laura Newhart, is co-teaching a course for the graduate school called "Research Ethics for Graduate Students." For part of the course they are having various faculty give brief presentations of various areas of applied ethics and to lead discussions of case studies in those areas that involve issues relevant to research. I got asked (and agreed) to give a presentation on environmental ethics and animal ethics, which is a lot to do in 25-30 minutes, leaving the rest of the time for case study discussion. I think it went reasonably well. Hard to walk into a classroom cold.

In the event that others might find it useful, here's the presentation I came up with.* (Otherwise, I just forget it ever happened.)

The case studies I discussed are online here** and here. I chose them in particular because they both involve graduate students.

* I apologize in advance for my use of all images in this presentation. (I will remove or alter the document in the face of strong complaints.)

** In case you're wondering, the study and surgery proposed in the "Experiment Discomfort" case study would never (now) be approved by a review board in the U.S. The U.S. Principles which guide all federal policies on the use of lab animals (specifically vertebrates) prohibit surgery without anesthesia. As with a lot of things, it's not technically illegal, but one could never receive funding for, and possibly not find anyone who would be willing to publish, such research. At least that's my understanding.

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