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Instructor: Rebecca Walker. This course meets TR 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. via remote synchronous (RS) instruction.

Topic: Experimenting on Humans and Animals: Ethics and History

Human and animal experimentation are frequently discussed separately—each arena is governed by its own regulatory system and scientists typically focus their research either on humans or on particular animal species. However, both historically and in modern biomedical research, animals have served to model human diseases or processes with an eye to translating interventions to research using human subjects and eventually to patient populations. The history of animal and human experimentation is intertwined in multiple ways and the philosophical and ethical issues raised overlap significantly. This is a course about both the history and ethics of animal and human subject experimentation. Issues to be addressed include: the history of the animal model in science; balancing harms and benefits of research; changing conceptions of role obligations, virtues, and identity of the ‘good scientist’; the development of the vulnerable research subject; and evolving views of human and animal moral standing and rights.


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