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Ann W. Fourtner
Science Writer


A Search for the Right Answer: Fetal Tissue Research and Parkinson's Disease

In this role-playing case study on Parkinson’s disease, students learn about brain injury and brain repair mechanisms, the physical and psychological effects of a degenerative disease on a patient and her family, the ethics of fetal tissue research, and the sociological implications of an aging population. The case has been used in a "Great Discoveries in Science" non-majors’ course for juniors and seniors as well as in a seminar in neuroscience for University Honors freshmen and sophomores.


Bad Blood: A Case Study of the Tuskegee Syphilis Project

The ethics of human experimentation are explored in this case about the infamous syphilis studies performed at the Tuskegee Institute from the 1930s to the 1960s. Sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, 399 African American men with syphilis were recruited for a research study on the progression of the disease when left untreated. The case examines the science underlying the experiment as well as the ethical and racial issues. One of its goals is to help students understand the evolution in our thinking on issues of science, human experimentation, and race, and how they are conditioned by our culture. The case could be used in any course that explores the ethics of science.