, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 343–351 | Cite as

Ethics in Neuroscience Curricula: A Survey of Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US

  • Gerald Walther
Original Paper


This paper analyses ethical training in neuroscience curricula at universities in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. The main findings are that 52 % of all courses have ethical training available, while in 82 % of those cases, the training is mandatory. In terms of specific contents of the teaching, ethical issues about ‘animal subjects and human participation in research’, ‘scientific misconduct’, and ‘treatment of data’ were the most prominent. A special emphasis during the research was placed on the prevalence of dual-use bioethics. In total, only 3 % of all courses mention it in any of their modules. One of the major findings of the survey was the trend towards ‘mainstreaming’ ethics education particularly in the UK, which is to disperse ethics among the various modules within the education instead of relying on a single ethics module. The paper discusses the utility of this approach for science education as well as describes the overall difficulties that course coordinators face when trying to teach ethics based on the responses to the qualitative part to the survey.


Education Ethics Survey Neuroscience Dual-use Universities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bradford Disarmament Research Centre, Division of Peace Studies, School of Social and International StudiesUniversity of BradfordBradfordUK

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