Project #27227 - Ethics

 This writing assignment asks you to combine a well-described example of a scientific 

innovation or controversy, with rigorous analytic argumentation using course concepts 

and readings. It should be no more than 1,000 words long (about 4 double-spaced 



You should try to write as if for publication—use full sentences, logically connected, and 

structure your argument so it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Before you write, 

think about how to introduce the object/controversy, and plan ahead so that your 

introduction includes key concepts you will use to analyze it. You will be graded on 

execution as well as use of sources, clarity of argument, and relevance of example. This 

paper should also include a full bibliography, in any citation style you are comfortable 

with. See for help organizing information. 

Your outside source can include newspaper articles or scholarly articles. 


The Writing Center is a useful resource, especially once you have completed a draft, and 

their tutors can help with both mechanical and (to a degree) conceptual issues. 



This assignment is due in-class on Thursday, April 10. 



Option 1: Identify a product-focused or process-focused approach to regulating a 

specific scientific or technological innovation, and assess its effectiveness. 


Rubric: Give an example of the kind of criteria used to determine the acceptability, 

safety, or efficacy of innovations, with an example, and explain whether it relates to the 

product itself (does it work?) or whether it relates to the production and use of the 

innovation.. Examples (feel free to use these): How is the safety and usefulness of 

something like “google glass” assessed? Do driverless cars require more attention to the 

product, or the social process (driving) it will be part of? 


Use at least one in-class and one outside-class source, and cite them. 




(See reverse for Option 2) 




 Comparative Studies 2341 – Final Writing Assignment



Option 2: What kinds of information or expertise, and what kinds of political or social 

participation, are necessary to resolve a public issue around science and technology? 


Rubric: Give an example of a controversy which in principle is resolvable (not a moral 

or political issue, but rather something like the examples used in Pinch and Collins’ 

article, “Crash!”). Explain the controversy, how it affects a public—a group of people, 

like patients with a particular form of cancer, or more generically, like “airline 

passengers”—and how scientists and the public might interact to resolve it. For 

examples, look at the readings for Week 13—Public Participation and Lay Knowledge. 

E.g., how does the public participate in assessing risks and shaping policy over the use of 

nuclear power? 


Use at least one in-class and one outside-class source, and cite them. 

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 04/10/2014 06:00 am
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