With rapid advances in the biosciences, bioethics has become an important, if not vital part of a comprehensive bioscience education. Students who successfully complete a course in bioethics will be better equipped for writing manuscripts for publication, preparing research proposals for funding bodies and completing applications for research ethics committees. Given the importance of both grant writing and successful publication in a bioscience career, bioscience students who do not receive training in bioethics will be disadvantaged. Graduates who move into careers other than research, such as science policy, administration or education, will also benefit from the inclusion of bioethics in their bioscience education because they will need to consider the ethical issues that arise in the context of policy, public relations and public health. Given the importance of including bioethics in a bioscience education, this paper presents the findings of an empirical study that was designed to evaluate the different ways to design and deliver a bioethics module for bioscience students. The study considers the aims and objectives; the teaching, learning and assessment strategies and the content of a ‘bioethics for bioscience’ module. At a more fundamental level, the study explores why bioethics should be taught, at what level bioethics should be delivered, how much time should be committed to the teaching of bioethics and the core topics that should be included in a bioethics module.
- Graduate skills
- Research ethics