Jour Fixe: Can we teach „just science“? Discussion on how much ethics we need to integrate in science classes

Tuesday, 15. January 2019
15:15 – 16:45

Y 326

Gisela Kopp (Research Fellow / Dept. of Biology)


We like science to be just about facts. However, we also need to acknowledge that science can be misinterpreted and misused and has sociocultural consequences. For example, evolutionary biology, and human evolution in particular, has been misused to support various forms of oppression such as racism. During this Jour Fixe, I would like to discuss how much ethics we as scientists and educators should integrate in our teaching to confront the ways in which science can be misused. I will base the discussion on two opposing blog posts from evolutionary biologists, where one argues that it is unethical to teach evolution without explicitly addressing harmful sociocultural consequences, whereas the other argues that science classes should solely focus on science. While I am using (human) evolution as an example, the same questions can also be applied to other fields, e.g. physics and chemistry.