Winter Special Topics Course: Ethics in Environmental Health

BH 497: Ethics in Environmental Health – Why do we care?

Thursdays 3:30-5:20pm | 2 credits | SLN:20105 | Room HSB I-132

This course will explore the conceptual understanding of “environment” relevant to various disciplines and the types of misunderstandings which may arise. Specifically, Environmental Health scientists (i.e., Epidemiologists, Exposure Scientists, Toxicologists) speak of “environment” differently from Environmental Science professionals. A cogent understanding of what is meant by Environment would help to alleviate stumbling blocks when both disciplines are addressing issues in environmental scope. This definition can also be helpful to clarity when discussing ethics related to classical environmental ethics, social ethics, and health ethics. As such, we will consider how themes from both classic public health ethics (including social responsibility, communitarian ethics, and prevention) influence the understanding and implementation of ethical practice at the policy level. Primary tools for our work are common frameworks from moral theory: deontology, consequentialist ethics, virtue ethics, and feminist ethics.

Instructors: Wesley Smith, PhD (wesmith) and Kelly Edwards, PhD-faculty supervisor and sponsor (edwards)