Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine provides an opportunity to explore a range of contemporary controversies in biomedical science, including stem cell research, euthanasia, assisted reproductive technologies, genetic engineering, human experimentation and the use of animals in research. Bioethics, by its very nature, draws upon a range of disciplines in terms of the approach, methodologies and body of knowledge relevant to the subject. The unit benefits from the development and exchange of ideas between students from different disciplines. Learning activities include lectures delivered by staff from a range of disciplines, class discussions both during lectures and in the online learning environment and the preparation and presentation of a debate video on one of a range of selected topics.
Consider the following: 'nature, the nature that preceded human history, today no longer exists anywhere.' Marx wrote this in 1845, when neither the automobile, nor plastics nor electricity played any part in social life. What happened since was a stunning increase in industrial production, mobility, urbanization and consumption of goods all of which based on massive resources and energyuse . The consequences of this progress are all around us: the ecological crisis is so widespread, it has become a new normal.
This UCIL unit is motivated by the deceptively simple question: what is the future of 'nature'? We acknowledge that answers to this can be many, but in this unit we try to answer it by going backwards: how did we get where we are today and what have we learned that can help us move forward? We go to the very roots cultural, economic and religious of our 'post-natural' civilization and explore the master-concepts of our environmental crisis: modernity, risk society, pollution, and, above all, nature. Your part in this exploration will be crucial: will have your say in research projects and in the weekly debates on issues such as water futures, climate catastrophe, oil dependency, the Great Pacific Plastic Gyro, genetically modified foods, overfishing, military weather modification (and even chemtrails).
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