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03/03/2016

Bioethics Commission Meeting 24: Member Discussion of Future Educational Materials

Member discussion wrapped up the Bioethics Commission’s twenty-fourth meeting. During this session, members considered future plans for their educational materials. Plans include expanding on the over 50 educational tools currently available on the Bioethics Commission website. Members addressed new topics, audiences, and design of the educational resources.

First, members considered possible future topics, including ethics education and deliberation as modes of engaging with complex, multifaceted, and challenging topics in health and science. Current educational materials align with Bioethics Commission Reports, ranging from their most recent work on Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society to their very first report New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies. Available educational tools also address topics that cut across Bioethics Commission reports including community engagement, compensation for research-related injury, informed consent, privacy, research design, and vulnerable populations. Members considered expanding the topics addressed in Bioethics Commission case studies.

Commission members also considered potential new audiences, from primary and secondary school students to adults encountering these issues as patients, research participants, caregivers, and consumers. Materials already available are designed for researchers, public health professionals, and various educators–including those who teach law, public policy, and science. Current User Guides, for example, serve as quick reference documents to help professionals and educators identify which materials are most relevant to them.

Lastly, the Bioethics Commission members discussed making the most of educational material delivery method. Materials are available online, and members noted how educational tools that are publicly available in an electronic format can reach a wide audience long after the Commission’s tenure. Bioethics Commission educational materials to date come in a variety of audience-specific formats. Members considered which new formats will round-out the Bioethics Commission suite of educational resources for their diverse stakeholders including students, teachers, health and science professionals, and the wider public.

The session concluded, and the Bioethics Commission and staff will now turn to putting these plans in action. Find out about educational materials as they become available via this blog by email subscription, RSS feed, or following the Bioethics Commission on Twitter! E-mail us your feedback on bioethics education at education@bioethics.gov.

The Commission is scheduled to meet again on May 3, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

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