Ethics and Philosophy in Life Sciences

Organisator Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (WIAS)

di 24 juni 2014 tot vr 27 juni 2014

Course description

Researchers in the life sciences generate the knowledge that builds the future of our society and those abroad. Therefore, professional academics should be accountable for their decisions, experimental designs and presentation of results. In this short intensive course, the principles of justification will be illustrated with cases and invited lectures by experts from the fields of ethical committees (DEC) and Developing countries and Food.

It is all about your competences (knowledge, skills and attitude), which implies that we work in a small group (max 15 students) during 4 days at a remote place. Theoretical and conceptual background is provided and directly applied in group assignments related to your own projects. Discussion and reflection is an important activity during the whole course. Various training forms will be used, for example the way an ethical review committee on animal research works, is simulated by a role play exercise on an actual research protocol.

Teachers:  Prof. Tjard de Cock Buning, Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Science, VU, Amsterdam; Prof. Bart Gremmen, Wageningen University; Prof. Elsbeth Stassen, Wageningen University


The aim is to develop your professional competence to analyze and make accountable decisions on complex ethical issues related to life sciences:

1.     To provide a toolbox of ethical instruments to analyze properly moral problems related (to one's own) research in the life sciences.

2.     To acquire conceptual knowledge of the central concepts in applied philosophy and professional ethics.

3.     To challenge an ethical reflection on one owns life science specialization and to open it for an impartial and constructive discussion.

4.     To acquire the necessary skills to handle ethical issues in an accountable manner, as a professional academic beyond one's own inclinations and prejudgments.

Group size: Max. 15 participants

Course duration: 4 full days 

When: 24 - 27 June