Current Events

Authors: Dena Plemmons and Michael Kalichman, 2008

Both popular and academic media frequently report on issues in science and technology that explicitly, or at least implicitly, raise challenging ethical questions. Simply requiring students to find a recent story of interest will often result in little or no overlap even with a class of 30-40 students. The instructor could do this, but it is at least as useful, and probably more useful to engage students in bringing in the current events for discussion. One approach is to assign individual students to select a current event (e.g., within the previous 6 months) and then come to class prepared to talk about the news story as well as provide their perspectives on the ethical dimensions. The current event is used to introduce an issue, explore the ethical, scientific, and other considerations it raises, and perhaps discuss approaches to addressing the problem or issue raised.