Craig McClure (University of Alabama – Birmingham, USA)
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has instituted a capstone course for the chemistry major, which explores the impacts of chemical innovations on society, the interplay between science and public policy, and ethics in chemical research. The course is built largely on case studies, and emphasizes the role of the chemist in society. The course culminates in a term paper requiring students to research a topic with ethical parameters, and produce a paper integrating information from literature searches with their personal opinions on a chemical topic of interest. Surveys are administered before and after the term to examine changes in student interests, skills, and civic involvement. The course structure will be presented, along with changes in student attitudes about chemistry and science in general as communicated in the course surveys.