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Ethics of Biotechnology

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Welcome to the course (HT2020)!

This semester we will give all lectures via Zoom. The seminars will be taking place in a classroom which is large enough to allow for social distancing. If you plan to take the course and have not received an info and welcome email by the 18th of August please email barbro.froding(a)abe.kth.se

See below for lecture themes and scroll down for reading list.

If you have any questions regarding the course please contact barbro.froding(a)abe.kth.se


Lecture 1 – 25 Aug, 13-15

Introduction to ethics + normative theories part 1 (consequentialism)                   


Lecture 2 – 1 Sept, 13-15

Normative theories part 2 – virtue ethics


Lecture 3 – 8 Sept, 13-15

Normative theories part 3 – rights and duties


Seminar 1 – 11 Sept, 10-12

Practicing applying normative theories to technology related problems


Lecture 4 – 15 Sept, 13-15



Lecture 5 – 22 Sept, 13-15

Donate vs. sell biological material


Seminar 2 – 2 Oct, 10-12

Animals and ethics


Lecture 6 – 6 Oct, 13-15

Integrity and privacy


Lecture 7 – 28 Oct, 10-12

Environmental ethics


Seminar 3, 4 Nov, 10-12

Value sensitive design


Lecture 8 – 11 Nov, 10-12

Risk and responsibility for new technology: the user, the engineer and society


Lecture 9 – 18 Nov, 10-12

Autonomy and new technology in healthcare.


Seminar 4 – 25 Nov, 10-12

Moral offsetting


Lecture 10 – 2 Dec, 10-12

Part 1: Treatment or enhancement – uses of gene technology

Part 2: Enhancement – cognitive and moral. Do we have a moral obligation to others and ourselves to accept cog enhancement if it is available and safe?


Seminar 5 – 9 Dec, 10-12,

Essay presentation


AK2008 ETHICS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY– reading list 2020

The literature for ak2008 consists of a course book, book chapters and academic articles as well as news articles, TED talks and other material.

Your course book:

Talbot M., Bioethics: an introduction, Cambridge university press, 2012


Chapters from the following books (most of which can be found at the KTH library or the Stockholm University library):

  1. Chapters 2 and 5 in ‘From chance to choice: genetics and justice’, Buchanan et al, Cambridge University Press (any edition) avaliable as an E-Book here https://www-cambridge-org.focus.lib.kth.se/core/books/from-chance-to-choice/B639409DFA6A336D107409A8FB2CD773#
  2. Rachels & Rachels, The Elements of moral philosophy, (any edition). This book is also available in Swedish: Rätt och fel. Introduktion till moralfilosofi. The publisher is Studentlitteratur.

 Articles and other material will be made available to you on Canvas once the term starts.