Lecture 16 Ethics in Science and EngineeringBioengineering 100Fall 2014UC Berkeley Reading Assignment:Chap. 5 Ethics of Emerging TechnologiesBudinger & Budinger Homework #4 assigned 11/6 and due 11/18Debate #4 on 11/18
Lecture 16 Debate 4a: Enlist Duo Heavy use of Roundup herbicide triggered an explosion of herbicide-resistant "super weeds" that are hard for farmers to fight and which can choke off crop yields. Such weeds now infest roughly 70 million acres of U.S. farmland, according to the Dow Chemical company. Recently Dowcreated Enlist Duo which combines a 60-year-old herbicide component known as 2,4-D with glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup which they hope to start selling for the 2015 U.S. spring planting season. TheBlue Team states that the 2,4-D in combination with glyphosate should help farmers kill weeds that are resistant to Roundup, reduce the riskfrom excessive use of herbicides that have been linked to human health problems, and should be better economically for all farmers big and small. The Gold Team is opposed to Enlist Duo, saying that the use of 2,4-D has been linked to a range of health problems, including reproductiveproblems, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease. They also fear the new herbicide could drift into neighboring farm fields, harmingcrops there, and that in the long run it will only increase weed resistanceproblems.
Lecture 16 Debate 4b: University Divesture in Fossil Fuels Students and faculty at more than 400 colleges have called for administrators to divest from fossil-fuel energy companies, but only ~20 have committed to doing so. Stanford recently divested from coal, but the remaining schools who divested had very small endowments, which is cited as the primary reason why other universities have not followed Stanford’s path on divesting in fossil fuels. The Blue Team states that endowments should only advance an academic mission, divestment is aslippery slope that leads to boycotting other “good” causes, universities could exert more leverage on fossil fuel companies if they remained invested, and divestment does great harm to a university’s finances whiledelivering little benefit to the climate change cause. The Gold Team argues that research- much of which is conducted at universities- overwhelmingly supports the fact that climate change originates from fossil fuels, is contributing to significant destructive forces on burdened populations, that universities have already divested from tobacco companies and South Africa during apartheid and it was effective, and auniversity community’s duty is to enlighten the arguments on competingmoral claims on climate change and how to solve it.
Lecture 16 Moral Theories of Environment  Like ethical discussion around non-humans (animals, corporations) we must decide on what is the moral standing of the environment (environment as stakeholder).