Center for Ethics and Humanities
in the Life Sciences

College of Human Medicine

 

 

Mission

The Center is committed to supporting reflective practice in health care and in science, by bringing to these fields the resources of ethics and the humanities. We do this through teaching, writing, public speaking, conducting research and working in many other ways with students, practitioners, and the general public. Our work is integrative: each activity informs the others, and all draw upon (and draw together) the humanities, the arts, and the sciences. We seek to deepen our field's response to cultural diversity and to increase the diversity of those active within it. We are an educational resource for the university and the state, and for national as well as international audiences.

Teaching

Our principal teaching commitment is to medical, nursing and veterinary students at Michigan State University; we also teach other groups, especially graduate students, medical residents, and undergraduates. In all of our teaching, from semester-long courses through one hour lectures, from drawing up curricula to conducting workshops, we try to collaborate with other faculty in the colleges we serve. In our teaching, as in all our work, we emphasize the ways in which theory and practice illumine one another. Having helped establish bioethics curricula in several colleges, we now seek to strengthen the presence of other humanities and disciplines in the health care and science programs. Toward this end we work closely with the Undergraduate Minor in Bioethics, Humanities and Society (BHS) in the Colleges of Human Medicine, Social Science and Arts and Letters.

Research and Scholarship

Our writing and research projects are intrinsically interdisciplinary, drawing upon the insights of the humanities and the findings of science to support reflective practice. Because of our practical and integrative commitments, we highly value collaborative work which reaches a diverse audience, both professional and public.

Public Service

Community outreach is at the core of all we do: we are proud to be part of a major land grant institution and of health care colleges which are community-based. Our public service activities -- workshops, public speaking, advising or consulting, and so on -- are varied, chosen in part for their contribution to our teaching and scholarship, but also for their usefulness to practicing health care professionals and researchers. These involvements help us understand the institutions about which we teach and write, and help us develop fruitful working relationships with practitioners. We especially hope to deepen the level of public, democratic deliberation about health and science policy.