Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Biology Teaching Diploma Information
The programme "Teaching Diploma, Two Subjects in One-Step Procedure" will not be offered anymore since Autumn Semester 2010. Therefore new matriculations are no longer possible. The courses offered below are valid only for students who have registered before.

Detailed information on the programme at:
Biology as First Subject
Compulsory Elective Courses
Further course offerings from the category Educational Science are listed under "Programme: Educational Science for Teaching Diploma and TC".
» see Compulsory Elective Courses Teaching Diploma
851-0180-00LResearch Ethics Restricted registration - show details
Particularly suitable for students of D-BIOL, D-CHAB, D-HEST
W2 credits2GG. Achermann
AbstractThis course has its focus on the responsible conduct of research (RCR) and the ethical dimensions of the biological and biomedical sciences.
ObjectiveThe main goal of this course is to enhance the student's ability to:
- recognize and identify ethical issues and conflicts,
- analyze and develop well-reasoned responses to the kinds of ethical problems a scientist is likely to encounter.

Additionally, students will become familiar with regulations and ethical guidelines relevant for their research field on the international, governmental, institutional and professional level.

To achieve these objectives, teaching methods will include lectures, discussions, case study work (alone and in groups), moral games, paper work and exercises.
ContentI. Ethics & the Process of Ethical Inquiry

Introduction in Ethics and Research Ethics
- What is ethics? What ethics is not...;
- Awareness: what constitutes an ethical question? Distinguishing ethical questions from other kinds of questions; Science & ethics: a comparison;
- The ethics movement in the biological and health sciences;
- What is research ethics and why is it important?
- Values (personal, cultural & ethical) in science & principles for ethical conduct in research;
- Professional codes of conduct: functions and limitations

Ethical approaches in the conduct of research (Normative Ethics)
- Overview over important theories for research ethics: virtue theories, duty-based theories (rights theory, categorical imperative, prima facie duties), consequentialist theories, other theories);
- The plurality of ethical theories and its consequences;
- The concept of dignity

Moral reasoning I: Arguments
- Why arguments? What is a good argument? The structure of (moral) arguments;
- Deductive and inductive arguments; Validity and soundness;
- Assessing moral arguments

Moral reasoning II: Decision-making
- How (not) to approach ethical issues...; Is there a correct method for answering moral questions?
- Models of method in Applied Ethics: a) Top-down approaches; b) the reflective equilibrium; c) a bottom-up approach: casuistry (or reasoning-by-analogy);
- Is there a right answer?

II. Research Ethics / Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Integrity in Research & Research Misconduct
- What is "integrity" in scientific research? What is research misconduct (falsification, fabrication, plagiarism - FFP) and questionable research practices (QRP)?
- Factors leading to misconduct; Procedure for responding to allegations of research misconduct;
- The confidant of ETH Zurich

Data Management
- Data collection and recordkeeping; Analysis and selection of data;
- Ownership of data; retention and sharing of data;
- Falsification and fabrication of data

Research involving animals
- The moral status of animals; Ethical approaches to animal experimentation: Animal welfare (Peter Singer) and Animal rights (Tom Regan);
- The 3 R's (replacement, reduction, refinement);
- Ethical assessment of conflicting issues in animal experimentation;
- The dignity of animals in the Swiss constitution;

Research involving human subjects
- History & guidelines (Nuremberg Code; Declaration of Helsinki; Belmont Report; International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects (CIOMS Guidelines); Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention);
- Informed consent; confidentiality and anonymity; research risks and benefits; vulnerable subjects;
- Clinical trials;
- Biobanks
- Ethics Committees / Institutional Review Boards (IRB)

Authorship & Peer review
- Criteria for authorship;
- Plagiarism;
- Challenges to openness and freedom in scientific publication;
- Open access
- Peer review

Social responsibility
- What is social responsibility? Social responsibility: whose obligation?
- Public advocacy by researchers
Lecture notesCourse material (handouts, case studies, exercises, surveys and papers) will be available during the lectures and on the course homepage.
LiteratureRecommended literature:

- Bulger R.E., Heitman E. & Reiser S.J. (2002) "The Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health Sciences" 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press
- Shamoo A.E. & Resnik D.B. (2003) "Responsible Conduct of Research", New York, Oxford University Press
- "On Being a Scientist. Responsible Conduct in Research (2009)" 3rd ed.,;
- "Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research" (

Detailed literature lists for the different topics of the course will be provided in the script/handout or on the course work space.
701-0015-00LSeminar on Transdisciplinary Research for Sustainable DevelopmentW2 credits2SC. E. Pohl, M. Stauffacher
AbstractThe seminar is designed for students and researchers (MA, PhD, PostDoc) who use inter- and transdisciplinary elements in their projects. It addresses the challenges of this research: How to integrate disciplines? How (and in what role) to include societal actors? How to bring results to fruition? We discuss these questions based on case studies and theories and on the participant's projects.
ObjectiveThe participants understand the specific challenges of inter- and transdisciplinary research in general and in the context of sustainable development in particular. They know methods and concepts to address these challenges and apply them to their research projects.
ContentThe seminar covers the following topics:
(1) Theories and concepts of inter- and transdisciplinary research
(2) The specific challenges of inter- and transdisciplinary research
(3) Involving stakeholders
(4) Collaborating disciplines
(5) Exploration of tools and methods
(6) Analysing participants' projects to improve inter- and transdisciplinary elements
LiteratureLiterature will be made available to the participants
Prerequisites / NoticeThe seminar is specifically suitable for PhD or PostDoc researchers. It is open to master students (minor "global change and sustainability") and further interested people, who preferably are preparing, or working on, a project/thesis.
701-1651-00LEnvironmental Governance Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 30.
W3 credits2GE. Lieberherr, G. de Buren, R. Schweizer
AbstractThe course addresses environmental policies, focusing on new steering approaches, which are generally summarized as environmental governance. The course also provides students with tools to analyze environmental policy processes and assesses the key features of environmental governance by examining various practical environmental policy examples.
ObjectiveTo understand how an environmental problem may (not) become a policy and explain political processes, using basic concepts and techniques from political science.

To analyze the evolution as well as the key elements of environmental governance.

To be able to identify the main challenges and opportunities for environmental governance and to critically discuss them with reference to various practical policy examples.
ContentImprovements in environmental quality and sustainable management of natural resources cannot be achieved through technical solutions alone. The quality of the environment and the achievement of sustainable development strongly depend on human behavior and specifically the human uses of nature. To influence human behavior, we rely on public policies and other societal rules, which aim to steer the way humans use natural resources and their effects on the environment. Such steering can take place through government intervention alone. However, this often also involves governance, which includes the interplay between governmental and non-governmental actors, the use of diverse tools such as emission standards or financial incentives to steer actors' behavior and can occur at the local, regional, national or international level.

In this course, we will address both the practical aspects of as well as the scientific debate on environmental governance. The course gives future environmental experts a strong basis to position themselves in the governance debate, which does not preclude government but rather involves a spectrum from government to governance.

Key questions that this course seeks to answer: What are the core characteristics of environmental challenges from a policy perspective? What are key elements of 'environmental governance' and how legitimate and effective are these approaches in addressing persistent environmental challenges?
Lecture notesLecture slides and additional course material will be provided throughout the semester.
LiteratureWe will mostly work with readings from the following books:
- Carter, N. (2007). The politics of the environment: Ideas, activism, policy (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Hogl, K., Kvarda, E., Nordbeck, R., Pregernig, M. (Eds) (2012): Environmental Governance: The Challenge of Legitimacy and Effectiveness. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Prerequisites / NoticeA detailed course schedule will be made available at the beginning of the semester.

We recommend that students have (a) three-years BSc education of a (technical) university; (b) successfully completed Bachelor introductory course to environmental policy (Entwicklungen nationaler Umweltpolitik (or equivalent)) and (c) familiarity with key issues in environmental policy and some fundamental knowledge of one social science or humanities discipline (political science, economics, sociology, history, psychology, philosophy)
701-1551-00LSustainability AssessmentW3 credits2GP. Krütli, C. E. Pohl
AbstractThe course deals with the concepts and methodologies for the analysis and assessment of sustainable development. A special focus is given to the social dimension and to social justice as a guiding principle of sustainability as well as to trade-offs between the three dimensions of sustainability.

The course is seminar-like, interactive.
ObjectiveAt the end oft he course students should

- core concepts of sustainable development, and;
- the concept of social justice - normatively and empirically - as a core element of social sustainability;
- important empirical methods for the analysis and assessment of local / regional sustainability issues.

Understand and reflect on:
- the challenges of trade-offs between the different goals of sustainable development;
- and the respective impacts on individual and societal decision-making.
ContentThe course is structured as follows:
- Overview of rationale, objectives, concepts and origins of sustainable development;
- Importance and application of sustainability in science, politics, society, and economy;
- Sustainable (local / regional) development in different national / international contexts;
- Analysis and evaluation methods of sustainable development with a focus on social justice;
- Trade-offs in selected examples.
Lecture notesHandouts.
LiteratureSelected scientific articles & book chapters
551-0916-00LLearning and Teaching Biology Information Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Number of participants limited to 20
The block course will only take place with a minimum of 10 participants.
W6 credits7GE. Hafen
AbstractThis course represents an introduction to recent research into student learning on the conceptual foundations of modern biology, together with pedagogical methods associated with effective instruction and its valuation. Students will be involved in active research into conceptual and practical issues involved in biology education and methods to discover student preconceptions.
ObjectiveProvides an overview on student's learning and shows ways to make the classroom experience more engaging and effective for students. Students will learn to produce a research-based paper on a project they work on during the course.
LiteratureThe course is not taught by a particular book, but recommended literature (review articles and selected primary literature) will be provided during the course.

See the introductory video to the course here:
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