Course theme

Type of course


Ethics in Plant and Environmental Sciences

  • 07 November 2022
  • Online
  • Environmental (Bio)Technology, Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, Environmental Life Sciences, Geosciences, Methodology
  • 0.3 ECTS

When performing research and communicating the findings and conclusions scientists may be confronted with ethical dilemmas, some which they at first had not expected to be confronted. The question accordingly is how to deal with these dilemmas. This requires an insight in the ethical values and how these can be interpreted in the scientific context. This course focuses on ethical issues that are encountered when doing research in plant and environmental sciences. It includes hands-on dealings with ethical, philosophical, and societal issues surrounding science.


  • to have a fair understanding of what environmental/agricultural ethics involves
    • its normative character;
    • imaginations of how the world should (ideally) be;
    • a practical orientation
    • critical reflection on normative arguments and basic concepts
  • critical assessment of arguments about nature and naturalness; the intrinsic value of nature/biodiversity
  • experience with joint deliberation about several practical ethical questions: (e.g. genetic engineering; environmental restoration and feeding ‘wild’ animals; ethical dilemmas in nature-inclusive agriculture)
  • reflection on the role of scientists in relation to societal/ethical debates

We recommend taking this course in combination with Research Integrity (RI), which focuses on key principles of good science and good scientific conduct, and on (ways of coping with) integrity tensions.

Former occurrences of this course

7 Nov 2022   |   27 June 2022   |   19 Nov 2021   |   18 June 2021   |   13 Nov 2020   |   7 Febr 2019

  • Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS), Wageningen University
  • Yearly