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Syllabus for 2013 - Focus: Neuroethics

Sunday, July 7 – University Square Residence Hall
Corner of University Avenue and Central Avenue, Newark, NJ

4:00 - 6:00 PM - Registration and check-in; University Square Residence Hall Multi-Purpose Room

6:00 - 9:00 PM -Paul Robeson Campus Center, Room 232 (Essex East Room)
Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Mr. Levi Barnes III, Ethics Officer, Merck and Company, Inc.
Pizza Supper.
Film: “I, Robot,” (50 minutes; an episode from a 1960’s TV show, The Outer Limits) followed by a discussion of ethical issues in neuroethics raised by the film. If a human being is given robotic parts, are they still human? If a digital computer is transplanted into a human brain to augment brain information processing capabilities, is that being still a human being?

 

Monday, July 8 – Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 211

9:00 - 11:30 AM - Directed study under the supervision of Ms. Trondell Dupree (Orange Board of Education) and Ms. Ijeoma Egekeze (Georgetown University).
Each day there will be reading and writing assignments which must be completed in the morning, before the late morning and afternoon lectures commence.

11:30 - 1:00 PM - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Critical thinking and writing workshop-1.
Introduction to the fundamental tools for critically assessing arguments. This workshop forms the basis for the entire week, and for the rest of your lives, since being able to critically assess arguments—the vehicles by which we acquire and transmit knowledge—is a fundamental human activity necessary for achieving success in any enterprise.

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Dr. Steven Kang (Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University-Newark) An introduction to morality and to moral reasoning. Dr. Kang will look at various ethical theories that are used to reason about solutions to ethical and moral problems, such as utilitarianism and Kantian deontology. He will also explain the difference between descriptive and normative statements, which lies at the heart of ethics.

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Dr. Barry Komisaruk (Board of Governors Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University-Newark) A discussion of fMRI technology. What is an fMRI picture of the human brain? What are its virtues and its limitations? How does the technology work? Should fMRI data be used to adjudicate cases in a court of law? Dr. Komisaruk, one of the leading figures in the world in cognitive science, has extensive experience with fMRI technology.

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Bonnie Fong, Roberta Tipton and Dr. Robert Nahory (Rutgers University Libraries) - Introduction to Information Literacy - Part 1: using library resources for projects.

5:30 - 7:00 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

8:00 - 10:00 PM - Movie

 

Tuesday, July 9 – Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 211

9:00 - 11:30 AM -Directed study under the supervision of Ms. Trondell Dupree (Orange Board of Education) and Ms. Ijeoma Egekeze (Georgetown University).
Each day there will be reading and writing assignments which must be completed in the morning, before the late morning and afternoon lectures commence.

11:30 - 1:00 PM - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Critical thinking and writing workshop-2.
We will continue working on the method of counterexamples and talk about some of the restrictions on the method, as well as applying it to a variety of arguments.

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Lunch - (Cafeteria - Paul Robeson Campus Center)

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Dr. Cosim Sayid (Department of Philosophy, CUNY, The Graduate Center)
What is free will? How can there be free will if the universe is wholly determined by physical laws (deterministic)? If there is no free will, is anything permitted? Are we absolved of all legal and moral responsibilities if there is no free will?

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Dr. Mahjeda Ali and Dr. Elena Ragusa (Research and Enrollment Information Services, Rutgers University-New Brunswick)
Dr. Ali and dr. Ragusa will provide a tutorial in MyRutgersFuture—a new search engine and assessment portal that will allow all of the participants in this summer’s program to remain connected to Rutgers, to create their own web site in which they can access and compute with data relevant for college admissions and future job opportunities.

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Bonnie Fong, Roberta Tipton and Dr. Robert Nahory (Rutgers University Libraries) - Introduction to Information Literacy - Part 2: using library resources for projects.

5:30 - 7:00 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

8:00 - 9:30 PM - Pizza party

 

Wednesday, July 10 – Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 211

9:00 - 11:30 AM - Directed study under the supervision of Ms. Trondell Dupree (Orange Board of Education) and Ms. Ijeoma Egekeze (Georgetown University).
Each day there will be reading and writing assignments which must be completed in the morning, before the late morning and afternoon lectures commence.

11:30 - 1:00 PM - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Critical thinking and writing workshop-3.
We will see that the scientific method is a natural corollary of the method of counterexamples, and work on some theories and examples from science to illustrate that idea.

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Dr. Hassan Muhammad (Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology)
Neural network models of human brains—can robots with neural network brains function more like humans than robots with alternative brain models? Dr. Muhammad will show his design and his implementation of a robot used for surgical procedures of the human eye.

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Dr. Lion Gardiner (Department of Zoology, Emeritus, Rutgers University-Newark)
What benefits can you expect from employing the method of loopholes and making it part of your set of reasoning tools? Dr. Gardiner is a nationally recognized expert on educational assessment and what an education does for a human being, from psychological and sociological points of view. He will describe how learning and using the method of loopholes can produce considerable epistemological development in human beings.

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Bonnie Fong, Roberta Tipton and Dr. Robert Nahory (Rutgers University Libraries) - Introduction to Information Literacy - Part 3: using library resources for projects. Students will compile notes and work on their projects.

5:30 - 7:00 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

8:00 - 10:00 PM - Movie

 

Thursday, July 11 – Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 211

9:00 - 11:30 AM - Directed study under the supervision of Ms. Trondell Dupree (Orange Board of Education) and Ms. Ijeoma Egekeze (Georgetown University).
Each day there will be reading and writing assignments which must be completed in the morning, before the late morning and afternoon lectures commence.

11:30 - 1:00 PM - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Critical thinking and writing workshop-4.
We will see that the method of loopholes also has affinities with narrative story-telling and the use of the imagination. We will also see how a powerful imagination is necessary for being a smart critical thinker—for being good at abstract and concrete reasoning.

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Professor Trip McCrossin (Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University-Newark)
Personal identity in humans and in robots. What makes a human being the same person over the course of time? What makes a human being the same when various organic bodily parts are replaced by robotic parts? What happens to severely brain injured people—do they remain the same person? If not, into whom do they change? Do humans die in teletransportation and are replaced by a physical duplicate, or does a human retain its identity when teletransported?

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Dr. Anastasia Pease (Department of English, Union College) and Dr. Linda McDonald Glenn (Singularity Institute) - Skype Sessions - Dana Library, Dana Room, 4th floor.
Dr. Pease will look at how neurotechnology is represented in both literature and film. She has a wide-ranging knowledge of science-fiction, and will show students interesting books, films, and essays about science-fiction treatments of work in neurotechnology and the neurosciences. Dr. Glenn will examine new and fantastic advances in the neurosciences and in neurotechnology, and speculate about what the future holds in these areas.

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Bonnie Fong, Roberta Tipton and Dr. Robert Nahory (Rutgers University Libraries) - Students will compile notes and work on their projects with expert guidance in library skills as needed.

5:30 - 7:00 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

8:00 - 10:00 PM - Pizza party

 

Friday, July 12 –Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 211

9:00 - 11:30 AM -Directed study under the supervision of Ms. Trondell Dupree (Orange Board of Education) and Ms. Ijeoma Egekeze (Georgetown University).
Each day there will be reading and writing assignments which must be completed in the morning, before the late morning and afternoon lectures commence.

11:30 - 1:00 PM - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Critical thinking and writing workshop-5.
We will apply the method of counterexamples to complex arguments, some of which are fairly large. We will also see how to use this method to solve ethical dilemmas.

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Dr. Robert Nahory (Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University-Newark)
Dr. Nahory, who was a laser physicist at Bell Laboratories and holder of a dozen patents in laser technology before he came to Rutgers, will discuss exciting new technical developments in the neurosciences, especially how human neurons can be connected to the gates of field effect transistors, combining biological and electronic technology. He will illustrate these ideas with a robotic arm (which students are invited to program) and discuss new developments in which human thoughts can control such things as a rat’s muscles by electronics that connect human brains to rat brains.

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Dr. Hassan Muhammad (Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology)
A detailed look at how fMRI data may discriminate against women and different ethnic groups, and a detailed discussion of the limitations of reading fMRI data. Dr. Muhammad will talk about the sociological and political uses of fMRI data, and the various moral problems created by these uses.

5:30 - 7:00 Pm - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)
 
After dinner: Continuation of work on group projects for presentations at the closing ceremony on Saturday

 

Saturday, July 13 – Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Room 255– 257

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM - Gala Banquet for students of the Institute and their parents.
Introduction by Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)

Linda Corrin, who has worked as a counselor with us for several years, will talk about how the Summer Bioethics Institute creates a healthy lifestyle experience

Noreen M. Lenart (Senior Ethics Associate, Merck and Company, Inc.)  will discuss Merck’s role in the Merck-Rutgers Summer Bioethics Institute

Dr. Diane Hill, Assistant Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark, will talk about the role of the Institute in connecting Rutgers-Newark with the Newark community.

Student groups will present their bioethics projects.
Award of diplomas ceremony and farewell

 

 
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