Just Say “No” to Drugs: Disability, Pharmaceuticals, and Scientific Ethics

Katherine Semmler, Chemistry, North Mecklenburg High School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

Many scientific mistakes in the past century have led to the development of highly detailed and strongly debated scientific ethics. However, scientific ethics are not nearly as well covered in science classes today as pure scientific content. Standard curriculums generally do not cover scientific ethics at all. In this unit, students will focus on the use of art to provide a window in to the personal effects of disability, especially those disabilities that occur as a direct result of scientific negligence. Scientific negligence has led to very strict regulation of research practices. Students will use multiple methods to discover what research regulations exist and what happens when these regulations are not followed. Students will be given the opportunity to discuss and debate what entity bears responsibility when problems arise as a result of science. The goal of this curriculum unit is to understand the effects of chemicals on humans from multiple points of view and encourage development of a personal and global understanding of scientific ethics.