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University of Oldenburg
14.08.2020 22:48:46
neu730 - Biosciences in the Public Eye and in our Laws (Complete module description)
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Module label Biosciences in the Public Eye and in our Laws
Module code neu730
Credit points 6.0 KP
Workload 180 h
3,5 SWS Supervised exercise (UE)
Total workload 158h: 48h contact / 40h preparation of presentation / 70h term paper
0.5 SWS Lecture (VO)
Total workload 23h: 10h contact / 13 h background research
Faculty/Institute Department of Neurosciences
Used in course of study
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Contact person
Module responsibility
Authorized examiners
Module counceling
Entry requirements
Skills to be acquired in this module
+ Scient. Literature
++ Social skills
+ Data present./disc.
++ Ethics

Upon completion of this course, students
  • have basic knowledge of non-biological aspects of professional life (e.g., law, management, languages)
  • know the basic safety and environmental concerns in bioscientific workplaces
  • are able to critically define and discuss ethical conflicts in biological research, e.g., in the context of stem cell research or data manipulation
  • have the ability to communicate scientific concepts, both orally and in writing
  • are able to prepare and give a coherent presentation in a team
  • have practised to lead a group discussion
Module contents
Lectures introduce the legal framework and the application procedures for experimental work with animals, humans and genetically modified organisms.
In supervised exercises, students research the ethical aspects and controversial issues of about 10 particular topics in the biosciences. They take turns in summarizing and presenting each topic in small teams, and leading a critical discussion of each topic. Problem-based, independent research of the scientific background by the students is an integral part of this module.

Example topics:
Good scientific practise and fraud
Artificial intelligence
Animal welfare, Animal experiments
Overfishing, Nature conservation
State-of-the-art genetic tools and their implications
Genetically modified organisms, e.g., in food production, chimeras
Stem cells
Humans as experimental subjects

A bonus can be obtained through active participation during the semester. Active participation requires regular oral contributions to the group discussions, that go beyond giving your own talks.
A bonus improves the exam mark by one step (0.3 or 0.4). The bonus is optional, an exam mark of 1.0 is achievable without a bonus. A bonus cannot be applied to pass a failed exam.
Reader's advisory
Current law and interpretative commentaries, e.g., by the German Research Council (DFG) or the German Ethics Panel
Introductory papers aimed at lay persons, e.g. from “The Scientist” or widely respected newspapers
Problem-based, independent search for relevant scientific literature is an integral part of this module
Languages of instruction German, English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency annually, summer term
Module capacity 18
Modullevel ---
Modulart Wahlpflicht / Elective
Lern-/Lehrform / Type of program
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Course type Comment SWS Frequency Workload attendance
Lecture 2.00 SuSe 28 h
Seminar und Übung 2.00 SuSe 28 h
Total time of attendance for the module 56 h
Examination Time of examination Type of examination
Final exam of module
within a few weeks of summer term lecture period
Term paper

In addition, mandatory but ungraded: Regular participation during the semester is required (max 3 days of absence)