Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Starting the New School Year with Life Science Ethics

ASU’s School of Life Sciences’ (SOLS) Program in Life Science Ethics helps students make ethics an integral part of studying science.  Karin Ellison, Associate Director of the Center for Biology and Society and Director of the ethics program shook up the start of the new school year by integrating ethics into new student training. On the change and the importance of the Program in Life Science Ethics, Ellison noted that, “Science and technology generally—and life sciences increasingly—fundamentally shape contemporary life. The program’s mission is to integrate awareness of and engagement with ethical questions in science into the consciousness and training of SOLS members.”

At Camp Ignite, the SOLS’s retreat for incoming freshmen, the 2016 class discussed “Difficult Decisions” with Ellison and their mentor-led small discussion groups. In preparation for camp, Ellison and Joe Davis, Coordinator for Student Engagement in SOLS Advising, recast the Camp Ignite ethics activities away from classic bioethics dilemmas—such as end of life decisions—and towards ethical dilemmas many college students face.  Ellison and Davis coached 50 undergraduate “mentors” who led freshman teams in the facilitation of ethics conversations. The groups discussed confronting a drunken roommate, collaborating on course work, and what to do when you witness cheating on an exam.

Ellison also infused ethics into SOLS TA training—an afternoon seminar required for all incoming graduate students who will be teaching assistants—when she taught the graduate students about academic integrity. Ellison illustrated ways to reduce Campfire at Camp Ignite. Photo by Jacob Sahertian.Campfire at Camp Ignite. Photo by Jacob Sahertian.cheating in class and taught new grad students how to confront a student suspected of cheating. Ellison pointed out “these skills can make courses better for TAs and students alike.”

Stay tuned for more stories from Program in Life Science Ethics every month.

For more information please contact Karin Ellison