Integrating Bioethics in Sciences’ curricula using values in science and socio-scientific issues

C. Sousa



The main objective of the present work is selection of ethical issues that should be addressed with first year undergraduate and K-12 students.

Since K-12 Sciences’ curriculum, in Portugal, does not include bioethics content in any discipline explicitly, teachers need to make an effort to include it. Some online materials are available to use in high school classes and will be discussed.

My proposal combines inquiry learning-teaching methods with the aim of promoting the discussion of bioethics issues in accordance to UNESCO Bioethics Core Curriculum already adopted by twenty universities throughout the world (Darwish 2015). Some of the issues that are addressed are: ecology and environment ethics, infectious diseases and vaccination, water for all, intellectual property, genomes and patents, biotechnological advances (genetic modified organisms and synthesis of genomes), future generations, climate hanges and natural resources, biomedical advances and human rights, authorship and contributions in scientific publications, and biobanks.

In conclusion, this study may constitute an example to facilitate the implementation, by K-12 teachers, of active inquiry strategies, using features of science such as values and socio-scientific issues, and focused on the discussion of concrete ethical issues facing humanity. It also constitutes a proposal of integrating Bioethics in undergraduate sciences’ curricula.


Bioethics; socio-scientific issues; values in science; inquiry; K-12; undergraduate

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