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ERIC Number: EJ854171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
Cloning, Stem Cells, and the Current National Debate: Incorporating Ethics into a Large Introductory Biology Course
Fink, Rachel D.
Cell Biology Education, v1 n4 p132-144 Win 2002
Discussing the ethical issues involved in topics such as cloning and stem cell research in a large introductory biology course is often difficult. Teachers may be wary of presenting material biased by personal beliefs, and students often feel inhibited speaking about moral issues in a large group. Yet, to ignore what is happening "out there" beyond the textbooks and lab work is to do a disservice to students. This essay describes a semester-long project in which upperclass students presented some of the most complex and controversial ideas imaginable to introductory students by staging a mock debate and acting as members of the then newly appointed President's Council on Bioethics. Because the upperclass students were presenting the ideas of real people who play an important role in shaping national policy, no student's personal beliefs were put on the line, and many ideas were articulated. The introductory audience could accept or reject what they were hearing and learn information important for making up their own minds on these issues. This project is presented as an example of how current events can be used to put basic cell biology into context and of how exciting it can be when students teach students. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A