BE Board:Ethics Seminar Series Focused Titles

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Potential Titles for the IAP Ethics Seminar

Each broad topic has a number of more narrowly focused topics that could be discussed. Each person can list their ideas for specific topics here for discussion.

Public Perspectives

1. Finding a Soapbox: How can scientists affect public views of biotechnology?
I think of this option as almost a workshop on what venues are available to scientists and engineers to get a message out to wider audiences. It would be more about how to communicate instead of what we should say or what factors has determined public perceptions so far. This discussion could be led by a practicing scientist or engineer who has experience working with some type of media.

2. Factors Shaping Public Perception of Biotechnology
This would be a discussion about where people get their ideas about biotechnology, not so much about how to get involved as individual scientists. I would try to find a discussion leader specializing in communication, like a professor from a Comm department.

3. Explain Yourself: Describing your work to a wider audience
This could include some discussion about where and when we can communicate to the public, but most of the discussion would focus on how to explain technical issues to non-scientists. The discussion could be led by a science writer like someone involved in technical journalism.

4. What are scientist obligated to share with the public?
This wouldn't be about how to communicate but would focus instead on when scientists and engineers are socially or ethically obligated to explain their work to the public. The discussion could include mass media, professional societies, regulatory agencies.


Regulating Bioengineering

1.How can Bioengineering be regulated? How can scientists contribute to the regulation of Bioengineering?

2.How is it decided which technologies to regulate?

3.Will regulation hinder innovation?

National Science Policy and International Collaboration


Intellectual Property
Since Lita already agreed to do this session, I'm going to let her have some freedom in choosing what she wants to do, but I think it will focus on what should be patented in biology and pharmaceuticals as well as international issues.


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