Friday, December 12, 2008

Research Proposal

Stephen Luciano
Research Proposal: Human Cloning
October 8, 2008

My topic is human cloning. I will discuss the actual method of cloning, the science behind it, the history of cloning, and what might happen in the future. In addition, I will discuss the ethics of cloning; should we do it? What are the implications?

My audience is the average reader; one with a high school biology education. I don’t know enough about human cloning to write to a true scientific paper on it. I think the biggest problem with this will be the terminology. People won’t remember their embryos from their zygotes , etcetera.

The purpose of this paper is to inform. I don’t want to make it for or against cloning. I just want to explain the process and its progress. I guess the ethics situation might point the paper one way or the other, but I won’t use the ethics to justify a position; I’ll jut put it out there that some people believe a certain thing.

The first genre, one that we all have to do, is an interview. I know one of my subjects already. Dr. Sherrill Begres is a bioethicist. I’m sure she knows about the ethics of cloning. She is a philosophy professor here at IUP, and I have previously had her for class. I also may want to interview a biology professor, on e who knows about cloning and can explain the science a bit better. I will then have two contrasting individuals. Dr. Begres, who knows the ethics but not necessarily the science, will contrast with a biology professor, probably Dr. Hinrichsen, who knows the science but not necessarily the ethics.

My newspaper article will discuss a current event in the field of cloning. I’m not sure yet what event, but it will have to be something newsworthy. I will probably include quotes from Dr. Begres and Dr. Hinrichsen, as well as additional quotes as needed. I could write about the ethical conflict in general. I f I completely wanted to ignore the idea of impartial, I could write an editorial for or against (probably for) cloning.

I’m not sure yet what I want to do for genre three or genre four. I have several ideas floating around, and I’m not sure how feasible any of them would be. One idea is to write a science fiction story that accurately depicts cloning. One problem I see with this is that it would be hard to remain neutral. Plus, I would have to cite my information, and that could make the story boring. Still, it would be really cool to write a science fiction short story, and it would be another way to present information on cloning, while making it less boring.

Another idea that I had was to write a syllabus for a college course. I already have several ideas for this, but I have no experience writing syllabi. I also don’t know how much detail I would need to go into for each day. I think this would be really useful though, as I plan on being a professor. Also, as I plan on informing people, it makes sense to write a syllabus, as a class is a great forum for information. The problem is, I would be writing a syllabus for an advanced college course for biology, and my material is generally aimed for people with only a high school biology education.

Another idea I had was a comparative movie review, discussing the many movies that portray cloning, and how accurate each movie is. Offhand, I can think of Godsend and The Sixth Day. I am sure there are other movies that depict cloning. I could compare the movies for their scientific accuracy. I think that would help debunk myths about cloning.

I am really excited for this project. I love my subject, and I think it will be really cool to do interviews and write a newspaper article. I’m just not sure about my genres three and four. The three ideas I have so far seem like they would be really good. Now I just have to choose.


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