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Friday, June 2, 2023

Academics & Research

Seminar syncs science, liberal arts


The new installation in the Ethics in Science lecture series discussed using visual creative nonfiction writing techniques in teaching research ethics. Some practical applications of this method have been implemented in teaching first-year medical students with the presenter’s video “Cure for Dying.” | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences at DePaul University Craig Klugman broke the professional boundaries that divided science and art during a seminar for the Ethics in Science series on Monday.

“Humanity has put professions in specific categories,” Kulgman said, “where mathematicians can only be mathematicians and an engineer can only be an engineer. One of the things that I’ve documented is that the value of film and art and literature helps us become more comfortable with ambiguity. All these structures, these styles, these drawers, they’re artificial constructs. They don’t really exist; they’re just human beings that have decided these categories.”

Eckhard Pfeiffer Professor of Computer Science Ioannis Pavlidis said the goal of the seminars was to educate students, faculty and the public on ethics issues.

Computer engineering technology sophomore Kristina Richardson said she’s really enjoyed the Ethics in Science seminars and thought they were improving as they went.

“I like how the audience was leading the discussion,” Richardson said. “I can see how the seminars have gotten much more organized and more engaged with the audience.”

The audience watched the film “Cure for Dying,” which was used for teaching first-year medical students about research ethics and professionalism. The audience then discussed the film and aspects of what creative nonfiction is.

“Understanding the validity between the (arts and sciences) helps us become more comfortable,” Klugman said. “And this is really important in medicine and science because we just don’t know.”

Klugman has had his foot in video production and owns a production company in San Antonio. He said helping students feel more interactive and helping in learning case studies was part of why he started making 15-minute films.

The next seminar in the Ethics in Science project will be “Broken Symmetry: Humanism, Militarism and the Dilemmas of Scientific Identity in Nuclear Age America” by Associate Professor of U.S. History at the University of British Columbia Jessica Wang at 11 a.m. on Feb. 17 at Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall. Visit for more information.

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