Community Science Action Guide


Teacher Guide



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Community Science Action Guide


The Ethics of Genetics

Our students are taught to question what they learn. Whether it is policy issues in our investigation of social studies, the motivation of characters in the stories we read, or the social impact of the experiments we conduct, students critically examine the world around them.

The following questions are to help frame the ethical issues involved in genetics. Each question is accompanied by a complete lesson gleaned from the Internet to highlight the question. The Resources page has more links that will provide help to answering these questions.

  • What are the Key Issues of Cloning?
    Cloning Around: Investigating the Ability to Create Human Embryos from Cloned Cells: An Ethics Debate in the Science Classroom is a lesson from the New York Times. After a study of the issues in cloning, students write an exposition or a persuasive argument using an interview of a cloning specialist that addresses an issue from the debate on cloning.

  • Should We Clone or Not?
    The Science of Cloning is a lesson developed by the Discovery Channel.

  • Do Parents Have the Right to Determine Which Genes Their Unborn Baby Will Have?
    This lesson provided by AAAS offers a comprehensive investigation that parents will face in the near future: If our unborn child is carrying CF, what can be done about it and what should we do?

  • How and When Should DNA Evidence be Used in Trials?
    DNA and the Law provides background information as to how DNA has been used in the courts. Students take on the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge while determining whether a dog's DNA should be submitted during a murder trial.

  • Should Our Medical Information Be Public Information?
    Another lesson from the New York Times. Students examine project Decode, Iceland's project that would, for the good of the community, make everyone's medical information public. Students study the different perspectives and debate the points-of-view of the Icelandic government, scientific researchers, and citizens.