EthicsLab is a new undergraduate curricular initiative that is a partnership of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, the Bioethics Research Library, and the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS). EthicsLab seeks to invent the next generation of bioethics curriculum and to offer transformative ethics education experiences for the undergraduates at Georgetown University.
EthicsLab courses are problem-centered courses that aim to integrate theory, experience, and reflection. These courses are collaboratively designed and delivered by teams comprised of faculty, academic technologists, and instructional librarians. Informed by new principles of highly effective and lasting learning, they are designed with the goal of offering transformative experiences to develop ethical citizens and leaders.
Maggie Little, Director of the KIE, and Randy Bass, Director of CNDLS, are team teaching “Bioethics and the Moral Imagination,” which explores four core topics in bioethics: birth, death, illness and disability, and sexuality, through the lenses of social justice and rights, flourishing, and the boundaries of humanness. Throughout, the course explores issues in law, policy, human values, and personal morality at the same time it explores issues of representation, imagination and communication — including the ways that writing and expressive forms shape the ways we understand and act around these fundamental issues. Students work with a wide range of materials, including ethical theory, personal narratives, film, and Web-based media.
Another EthicsLab course this semester, “Technologies of the Self,” examines the philosophical and ethical implications of various “technologies of the self” — that is, the various methods of intervening on a body so as to make or enhance a person. The course covers topics such as the ethics of cognitive and mood enhancement technologies, reprogenetics, posthumanism, artificial intelligence, and doping in athletics. Students in the class develop portfolios of analytic, exegetical, and reflective writing based in both traditional and digital media.