First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP3056633, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF1839, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge DIETELMO PIEVANI M-FIL/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses IUS/14 European Union Law 3.0
Core courses M-FIL/03 Moral Philosophy 3.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2011 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
9 NORMATIVE E BIOETICA DELLE BIOTECNOLOGIE 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 PIEVANI DIETELMO (Presidente)
8 NORMATIVE E BIOETICA DELLE BIOTECNOLOGIE 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 PIEVANI DIETELMO (Presidente)

Prerequisites: Prior knowledge needed for the classes in Bioethics and Patent Legislation is that normally provided for students at the first year of the first degrees in Biotechnologies, Biology or Molecular Biology. Students should also have sufficient and basic capacities for argumentation and expression, enabling them to defend a bioethical thesis and grasp the contents of a scientific and bioethical debate, actively participating in the discussion of case-studies during the lessons.
Target skills and knowledge: Contents and skills to be acquired at the end of the classes in Bioethics and Patent Legislation belong mainly to four areas:
1) basic of the scientific method in general, bioethics and patent legislation;
2) conceptual and terminological analysis applied to bioethical case-studies around biotechnologies;
3) insights and case-studies on open debates and scientific controversies concerning contemporary standards and patents legislation about biotechnologies;
4) International comparisons between models in bioethics and legislation.
Examination methods: Examination is normally oral and aims at the evaluation of both scientific and bioethical and legislative skills acquired, through open-ended questions and requests for argumentation and comparison of different theses and models. The examination is divided into the two sections of the course (Bioethics and Patent Legislation). The common part usually includes textbooks, books and articles that provide a general overview of the contents of the discipline. The examination provides also the monographic choice, by the students, of one of the cases discussed during the classes, on which a specific training with further bibliography is required.
Assessment criteria: Evaluation criteria are:
- Argumentative skills;
- Accuracy and competence in the terminology adopted during the oral examination;
- Ability to debate the case-study inside the more general frame of bioethics and legislations;
- Ability to join technical, historical, and International comparative data during the discussion of the case-study;
- Acquired knowledge about all the cases of Bioethics and Patent Legislation discussed in the lessons.
Course unit contents: The course aims at deepening the fundamental concepts, principles and analytical methods of the Bioethics and Patent Legislation, according to current International debates. These general objectives are addressed through critical discussion of case-studies - both historical and taken from primary scientific literature - in particular about bioethics and legislation of biotechnologies.
Some of the main themes:
- what is Bioethics;
- how to manage a bioethical debate;
- bioethics in advanced biotechnologies;
- Italian bioethical debate and comparisons with other countries;
- the most debated cases in contemporary bioethical literature;
- bioethics of biotechnologies in public debates: information, scientific consensus, communication, public understanding of science, decision making;
- what is a patent;
- basic principles of legislation in biotechnologies;
- International comparisons in legislation of biotechnologies;
- the most debated cases in contemporary literature about legislation in biotechnologies;
- Italian legislation and International comparisons;
- governance of bioethical and legislative decision making.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is structured in lessons of two hours each. Every lesson has a uniform frame, dealing with a specific topic or a case-study. The lesson includes an initial presentation of the teacher, who introduces the theme or case in its basic features and allows students to have basic information around it. The case is then deepened showing different angles of interpretation and possibly alternative approaches. Students are asked to take a stand and confront with each other, through free discussions, dialogues and questions to the teacher. An interactive and participatory learning emerges from the dialogue. The teacher moderates the discussion and underlights interventions relevant to the frame of the case, from time to time by introducing the concepts and terms of bioethics and patent legislation, not in a merely theoretical way but as effectively emerging from the case-study. In the final part of the lesson the teacher proposes the concluding remarcks of the case-study, synthesizing the central message. During the lesson, students can participate freely to the discussion and are urged to do so. For each lesson, the teacher suggests further reading, which can be classical texts or more specialized papers. In the last lessons the teacher provides a summary of all cases, introduces students to the bibliographies of monographic cases and gives advices for the choice. During the course there could be presentations of experts (from the faculty or outsider) on specific topics, different from year to year. No specific labs or tutorials are scheduled.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The materials for study are:
- 1) Slides for each lesson, made ‚Äč‚Äčavailable to students by e-learning a few days after the lesson; PPT presentations allow students to follow the thread of the discussion, case-study after case-study;
- 2) Texts and textbooks of the common part;
- 3) Scientific papers and reviews indicated for each case-study (monographic part);
- 4) Further texts (optional) suggested during the classes.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Aa. Vv., articoli e saggi selezionati di anno in anno su casi di frontiera in bioetica delle biotecnologie.. --: --, 2019.
  • Aa. Vv., Articoli e saggi selezionati di anno in anno sul biodiritto dei brevetti.. --: --, 2019.

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Action learning
  • Story telling
  • Problem solving

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being Affordable and Clean Energy Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Reduced Inequalities Climate Action Life on Land