Group Assignments

In the second part of the course, the philosophical debate on values in science will be applied to case studies from current scientific practice. The task of each group is to  identify potential non-epistemic values involved in the following debates, as well as to critically discuss the societal impact of these novel technologies and applications.


Group I: CRISPR and the Challenges of Genetic Editing

Suggested Readings:
– Sankar, P. L., & Cho, M. K. (2015). Engineering Values Into Genetic Engineering: A Proposed Analytic Framework for Scientific Social Responsibility. American Journal of Bioethics, 15(12).
– Lanphier, E., Urnov, F., Haecker, S. E., Werner, M., & Smolenski, J. (2015). Don’t edit the human germ line. Nature, 519, 410–411.
– Baltimore, D., Berg, P., Botchan, M., Carroll, D., Charo, R. A., Church, G., … Yamamoto, K. R. (2015). A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification. Science, 348(6230), 36–38.
– Ishii, Tetsuya. 2015. Germline Genome-Editing Research and Its Socioethical Implications. Trends in Molecular Medicine 21 (8): 473–81.
Experts warn home ‘gene editing’ kits pose risk to society. The Guardian. 30/09/2016.


Group II: Big Data and the Future of Privacy

Suggested Readings:
Bowman, Courtney, Ari Gesher, John K Grant, Daniel Slate, and Elissa Lerner. 2015. The Architecture of Privacy : On Engineering Technologies That Can Deliver Trustworthy Safeguards. Sebastopol CA: O’Reilly Media.
– Floridi, L. (2011). The Philosophy of Information. Oxford University Press.
– Mittelstadt, B. D., & Floridi, L. (2016). The Ethics of Big Data: Current and Foreseeable Issues in Biomedical Contexts. Science and Engineering Ethics, 22(2).
– Siegel, E. (2013). Predictive analytics: the power to predict who will click, buy, lie, or die. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.


Group III: Climate Change and Dissent in Science

Suggested Readings:
– Biddle, J. B., & Leuschner, A. (2015). Climate skepticism and the manufacture of doubt: can dissent in science be epistemically detrimental? European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 5(3), 261–278.
– Oreskes, N., & Conway, E. M. (2010). Merchants of doubt : how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press.


Group IV: Dual-Use Applications in Engineering

Suggested Readings:
– Barazzetti, G., Diezi, J., & Benaroyo, L. (n.d.). A brief introduction to “dual-‐use” in engineering sciences. Ethos–Interdisciplinary Ethics Platform. Lausanne. Retrieved from http://research-office.epfl.ch/files/content/sites/research-office/files/Research Ethics/Ethos_ReportEPFL_DualUse_Introduction_2015_VF[1].pdf
– Forge, J. (2010). A note on the definition of “dual use”. Science and Engineering Ethics, 16(1).
– Oltmann, S. (2015). Dual Use Research: Investigation Across Multiple Science Disciplines. Science and Engineering Ethics, 21(2).