This week we begin a new segment
of the course, viz., an examination of the ethical and public policy issues
surrounding environmentally induced illnesses. Environmentally
induced illnesses present us with ethical and policy challenges unlike
those presented by infectious, or degenerative, or any other kinds diseases.
I hope you’ll begin to see how significant these issues are.
The book you’ll
be reading this week and next is literally the only book out there (so far)
that looks at these illnesses from the point of view
of public health ethics, so it’s the one we’re stuck with (magnificently
and superbly well written as it is...).
I definitely apologize for the
price of this book, though. If I’d had
anything to say about it the book would have been produced as a $4.95 mass
market paperback, and the author would have earned about four cents from
But publishers, unfortunately, make all those decisions. In any case, the
amount of the cover
price that ends up going to the author on scholarly books like this is truly
miniscule, so that would not be any incentive for authors to
ask people to buy or read their books. StilI I do feel bad that people have
much for it. But it is literally the only book out there that examines environmentally
of view. So if we’re going to study that – and I think it’s
an important thing to study – this is the book we’re stuck with.
be reading it over two weeks, the first half this week and the second half
next week.. So this first week you’ll be reading the Preface,
Introduction, Chapter 1 (Data), and Chapter 2 (Principles). That takes you
up to page 153.
Next week you’ll be reading
Chapter 3 (Modest Proposals) and Chapter 4 (Brick Walls), as well as the
conclusion and a couple of appendices.
that adds up to about 150pp for each of these two weeks. There is also a
writing assignment for each of the two weeks.
So here's the
The reading assignment
for this week is to read the Preface, Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter
2 of Environmentally
Induced Illness: Ethics, Risk Assessment and
The writing assignment is to pick
three ideas or facts or claims from the Preface, Introduction or chapter
1. Then for each of
those three ideas,
a passage that expresses that idea or fact or claim;
b. explain in your own words
what you understand the author to be saying in that passage you’ve
c. write a couple of sentences
saying what you think about that idea and the passage you’ve quoted.
So that means
posting three separate messages to the classroom, each of which will have
those three separately labeled
elements, a, b, and c.
Then you'll do
the same for chapter 2: pick
three ideas or facts or claims that stood out for you, and post a
message about each one. Each message will include those three clearly labeled
parts, a, b, and c.
to these formally assigned postings, of course, there should also be
the more informal postings about any other ideas or questions or arguments
that strike you.
will all be posted into the Classroom Discussion folder.
It is not
necessary that you complete the entire reading assignment before posting
your first message. Discussions should probably be ongoing during the
time you are reading the book. In any case, you should start posting
discussion messages, whether as part of this formal assignment
or just as informal reactions to what you are reading, by Friday (Saturday
at the latest).