skip to navigation skip to content
Instructor-led course

Provided by: Graduate School of Life Sciences

This course is not scheduled to run.

[ Show past events ]

Register interest
Register your interest - if you would be interested in additional dates being scheduled.

Events available

Critical Thinking and Bio-Ethics in Life Sciences
Extra run


A workshop of two half-day sessions that are one week apart, developing:

  • Knowledge of critical thinking, with respect to logic and argument development
  • Skills in application of critical thinking using case studies and debate involving bioethics

Developing your critical thinking and recognising how human elements impact on scientific enquiry will support you in making more appropriate decisions in the direction of your scientific projects.

As scientists, your skills of critical thinking are well developed in hypothesis testing, observation and empirical experiment. This workshop will incorporate other modes of logic and reason into your scientific thinking. Once these skills have been looked at, they will be use on example discussions in the areas of social and ethical issues in biotechnology – including reproductive cloning and use of bio-information. Please note that these are example topics for practicing the skills and are not the topic of the course.

Workshop leader: Caroline Broad is a Philosophy graduate with a passion for the practical applications of critical thinking; especially in the global, highly technical world we now live in; Caroline has spent ten years working in biotechnology field, previously as an employee for AZ owned MedImmune. She is a visiting lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, teaching Advanced Concepts in Bio business; delivers workshops to post-docs at Imperial College in Innovation skills and creative problem solving.

Target audience

PhD students in the GSLS

Topics covered (session 1)

In this workshop we will discuss and practice the following in the context of scientific enquiry:

  • The Philosophical art of critical thinking
  • Logic and morality
  • Reasoning and assumptions
  • Doubt and reflection
  • Methods of enquiry – Western models of thinking
  • Methods of decision making – Learning from other disciplines
  • Eastern logic and argument – Use in life sciences
Topics covered (session 2)

This workshop will consist of a set of debates on current bioethical issues. Each debate will incorporate a critical thinking style. We will then analyse and evaluate the impact of its presence and absence on scientific enquiry.




Two half-day sessions. The two workshop days are one week apart to allow participants time to assimilate and develop rational arguments for debate.


One off

Events available