Monday, May 23, 2011

New Paper available by CSEP Fellow Robert Ladenson

CSEP has recently made available two new publications by CSEP Fellow, Dr. Robert Ladenson under a Creative Commons license.

Critical Attributes of Good Process Decisions: A Guide for the Reflective Special Education Hearing Officer
Robert Ladenson

This monograph offers guidance for special education due process hearing officers in their efforts to write good due process decisions. It has four sections dealing respectively with:

- summary and explanation of factual findings;
- justification of legal conclusions;
- framing and determination of rulings and orders;
- writing choices in a special education due process opinion as to word selection, organizational structure, style, rhetoric, and tone.

The monograph is not intended to replace, but instead to supplement, the use of comprehensive summaries of substantive and procedural special education law. It aims to address an essential, yet presently unmet need – for an educational approach that helps special education due process hearing officers to focus critical reflection upon processes involved both in thinking through issues in a case and finding words to express the conclusions arrived at in writing a decision.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Hours

The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions will be open Monday-Friday, 9-5 through the summer sessions at IIT. Due to the variety of summer programs we are involved in during this period, it is best to make an appointment if you would like to speak with the librarian or someone else at the Center by contacting us at or at 312.567.6913.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are Dolphins too Intelligent for Captivity?

A new article in the latest edition of Science Magazine , as well as an accompanying podcast discuss a new movement that seeks to end all dolphin research in zoos and aquariums. Research has shown that dolphins can recognize their own reflections- a self-awareness test that only chimpanzees and human routinely pass. These findings, however, raise an unsettling question, if dolphins are potentially as self-aware as humans, how can we keep then in captivity? Do they deserve to have some basic rights protected by law?

On the flip side, captive research of dolphins is both the best way to learn about the intelligence of these creatures, as well as learning about how to protect them in the wild. Its these same captive studies that have lead to our greater understanding of dolphin intelligence, physiology, and our ability to quickly rescue stranded dolphins. Researchers worry that if we end captivity for dolphins, the field of dolphin cognation will also end.

Lori Marino, a researcher who has worked extensively with dolphins, has banded together with scientists, activists, and philosophers to draft the "Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans"

What are your thoughts? Are dolphins deserving of greater protections when a part of research then say, dogs or other large mammals? If so, what kinds of regulation would you support?