Review Comment

Bioethics

November 16, 2016

Loike, John Silver_nugget
Bioethics

This is one of the most unique science courses I've taken as a pre-med at Columbia. Dr. Loike's style of teaching is unique to anything you'll see in your standard 300-person lecture course and frankly a fun, high-energy, breath of fresh air. Whether you are already familiar with the principles of bioethics or a new-comer to the field, Dr. Loike makes the experience educational, timely and relevant. Each week in class a new or upcoming biological technology is presented and the class is made to discuss the bioethical issues that are associated with it as well as how they may be resolved. However, instead of simply opening up the class for debate, 2-3 students begin the discussion by presenting a "scientific theater" presentation of sorts where they are assigned roles (ie. someone who is considering using the technology, the developer of the technology, someone who is against use of the technology, etc) and present bioethical arguments related to the technology through various lenses. The rest of the class then has the opportunity to ask each character questions, or respond to what the characters have said. It was a very unique and fun spin to put on a seminar and often made for the emergence of viewpoints that otherwise may not have even been considered. I genuinely enjoyed going to this seminar (which by the way is just once a week!) and came away with a solid grasp of the principles of bioethics as well as a basic knowledge of many biotechnologies I had been aware had existed.

Dr. Loike also brought in several guest speakers throughout the semester (ie. FBI agents specializing in contagious diseases/bioterrorism). It was super interesting to hear their direct perspectives on their given area of expertise and a nice change of pace from weekly student-led class discussions.

Overall I would definitely recommend this course if you're looking for a nice and easy change of pace from your standard (read: hellish) premed classes. You can tell Dr. Loike is super passionate about his field. His high energy and chosen class style really did make going to class something to look forward to, (unlike that orgo lecture you're still looking for an excuse to skip). Essentially if you want to block out an hour and fifteen minutes once a week to have some intellectually stimulating discussions about bioethics and biotechnology, get an easy A, and get 2 credits out of it, I'd recommend you look no further.

Workload:

This course is also VERY easy to do well in. It's graded primarily based on participation--if you attend class and try your best to make a thoughtful comment or two at each session, you should be A OK. There are weekly courseworks posts (read: single paragraphs) due each week that basically just require you to write 4 thoughtful sentences about the technology being discussed in class that week. These posts are not graded, but marked as complete/incomplete. The midterm for this course is a choice between either a partner op-ed paper (which you have the opportunity to redact later for a higher grade), or a partner/group music video (obviously I chose the music video but either way you slice it the midterm was a breeze)! The final for the course is another partner-paper (5 pages, if I remember correctly)--if you put in some time you should be able to crank it out in a weekend!

January 10, 2006

Kuflik, Arthur
Bioethics

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I strongly disagree with the other reviews. Professor Kuflik is an intelligent, caring professor who will take the time to speak to you about anything, give feedback and advice, and generally be as helpful as possible. Like every other class, you get out of it what you put into it. I took bioethics over the summer, so yes, the three hour classes twice a week were a bit much. But the workload was very reasonable and the classes were stimulating. Prof. Kuflik went over the readings and added a lot of useful information and insights and always took time for comments and questions. Overall, I loved the class.

Workload:

take home midterm and final and short in-class midterm and final exams (more like quizzes)

December 02, 2004

Kuflik, Arthur
Bioethics

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

**STAY AWAY!!!**
In all of my other reviews, I make a conscious effort to give a balanced review, since most profs have their good points and bad points. KUFLIK IS PERHAPS THE WORST PROFESSOR I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED. Bioethics should be a fascinating course, but he absolutely ruined it. The texts we read were interested, and I was encouraged when I walked into the first class and saw we'd be sitting around a big table. But instead, Kuflik took up the entire time rambling and basically doing nothing but recapping what we read--but taking 3 hours to do it. If someone had an opinion that was slightly different from his, he would barely entertain it, and sometimes blatantly shoot it down. His lectures were unorganized and boring and brought little or nothing to the texts we read. If you want to learn about Bioethics, buy the textbook, and read it on your own, but DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE.

Workload:

A couple of medium to longer papers, graded rather harshly if you try to do anything but reiterate what he said in class.

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