Science, Ethics, & Democracy
Examines relationships between scientific knowledge, ethics, and formation of public policies in a democratic society. Science influences public policy and public policy shapes scientific enterprise. How can citizens reliably identify genuine scientific expertise? If scientific expertise conflicts with religious views of some citizens, can public policy rely on scientific expertise without violating principles of religious toleration? What are ethical rules of public deliberation—must citizens appeal only to reasons accessible from secular viewpoints? To what extent should science goals be shaped by scientific community versus democratic processes? One course.