Team:Heidelberg/Human Practices/Philosophy/Part1


The first and important part of the philosophical approach will be the reflection about the wetlab.


First concept

  • biosafety:
  • biosecurity:
  • meaningfulness (?): Is the project a waste of money, time and knowhow? Best example for such projects can be find here.
  • Should it be allowed that students are working on such dangerous and maybe far-reaching projects? Demur of several german newspapers like the ZEIT or
  • Ethical problems if specific method getting patented

Problem: imprecise, broad and vague; have to create a checklist on my own - none known yet; have to acquaint myself with the methods of the wetlab - very precise knowledge is condition

This approach was dismissed. Too unprecise. Too much work for too less outcome. Canceling of the former wetlab-project.

Second concept

The canceling of the former wetlab-project and deciding for the new project gives the ethical reflexion new possibilities especially because the team wants to work with mice. So there is a wide and grown field of ethical discussion and reflexion about animal experiments. I can use the literature and the highly emotional discussion as basis for the reflexion on the specific wetlab-project.

  1. introduction into animal experiments in the context of the bioethics
  2. outlining the two major positions
    1. freedom of research
      1. elaborating the legal status in Germany (Binder: Rahmenbedingungen) and States - comparison
      2. main arguments
    2. rights of animals
      1. status-quo: experiments, meat-production, etc. - klarmachen wie die gelebte Wirklichkeit(?) ist und sich nicht auf theoretische standpunkte zurückziehen
      2. elaborating the legal status
      3. ethical concepts:
        1. Peter Singer
        2. Hans Jonas
        3. Is there any ethical 'theory' which refers to our every-day behavior? Maybe Descartes!
    3. first conclusion
  3. outlining iGEM-project and wetlab
    1. what is the aim? outlining the main parts
    2. what would be the advantage/benefit for the men?
    3. what will be precise be done with the mice and what will it do to them? do they harm them? will they feel pain? will the experiment probably kill them?
    4. how necessary is the usage of mice for the project? are there alternatives and if it so why they aren't realized?
  4. appreciation
    1. the common definitions and positions will be related to the specific situation in the wetlab

new elaborated version

New Version

--Marcus 16:17, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Collection of thoughts and quotations


  • Borchers, Dagmar [Hrsg.]: Der ethisch vertretbare Tierversuch: Kriterien und Grenzen, Paderborn: Mentis 2009.
  • Nuffield Council on Bioethics: The ethics of research involving animals, London: Latimer Trend (?) 2005.
  • Singer, Peter A. [Hrsg.]: The Cambridge textbook of bioethics, Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Pr. 2008.