Skip to Content

Bioethics and Biotechnology - PHL260

This unit introduces students to a selection of the most pressing ethical questions and concerns raised by current and recent developments in the so-called ‘biotech revolution’, especially in the sphere of genetic technology. The first section of the unit provides an introduction to ethical reasoning, to issues of social justice and to the relationship between social values, scientific enquiry and research ethics in the context of biotechnology. The second section focuses on the ethics of gene technology in the spheres of human medicine and reproduction, including: genetic screening/testing; gene therapies; genetic enhancement; and human reproductive cloning. In the third section we explore the impact of biotechnologies on other aspects of human, non-human animal and environmental welfare including: genetic engineering of plants and animals (GMOs); biofortification of food; bio-prospecting; and commercial exploitation of human genetic material. The unit is an ethics unit, not a science unit, and prior scientific knowledge is not required.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (No on-campus sessions, however students must attend an examination in Australia)

Staff Contact(s): Dr Mianna Lotz

(12cp at 100 level or above) or admission to GDipArts Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): CBMS807, ELS860, PHIL260
Unit Designation(s):

Medical Sciences


Unit Type: Planet unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Philosophy

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
Need help? Ask us.