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Pilaro
November 6th, 2004, 02:57 AM
Well, I saw ILUVNYC had a similar topic about a month and a half ago, and many people seemed eager to help out. I too am applying to college in New York(NYU) and would appreciate any pointers on the essay. Here is my answer to the "ethical dilemmas" question asking me to describe an ethical dilemma and it's impact on me. It is currently 498 words and must remain under 500. Thanks to anyone who reads and helps. :wink:


I come from a family devoted to science, specifically biology. Both my parents are scientists, and both have little time for much that is not easily classified or catalogued. In the summer following sophomore year, a scientific career seemed the logical, not to mention only, choice. Over the following months my opinion of the scientific profession began to evolve. It no longer represented a pinnacle of human achievement. Then one fateful day I stumbled upon the revelation --I actually hate science, biology included.

Summer progressed with some degree of normalcy for two weeks; until the date I first nervously reported to the fortified 1950’s style bomb shelter that housed the USDA laboratories. Lamentably, the interior of the building mirrored the outside; long block corridors clad in a shade of pale green achieved an ambiance comparable to that of a psychiatric ward. Before long my boss, Dr. Judith Stable, a kindly yet severe looking woman who upholds the virtue of lab cleanliness above all else, had me working on both important and menial tasks alike. Time passed quickly.

One day as I was meticulously (in science one must always be careful) entering an endless stream of cattle data into a spreadsheet, I was rudely awakened from my typical post lunch trance. At precisely one o’clock Dr. Stable made an impromptu appearance in the laboratory to announce, “One of our cows, number 163, has just died. We all need to prepare for a posting (autopsy) at one thirty” and after a quick surveillance she added, “Gregory, I noticed some dirt by the autoclave. Please take care of it.”

“Of course.” As I vigorously swept, the first emotion I experienced was perverse delight. I had always disliked cow number 163, whose favorite pastime consisted of kicking anyone unfortunate enough to be within range. Now dumping the contents of the dustpan into the wastebasket, my glee quickly turned to dread. I have never had a strong constitution--I nearly fainted during eighth grade health class multiple times; how was I going to handle dissecting a cow? Worse still, my mild mannered co-workers had transformed into a wild pack of ravenous bloodthirsty fiends, excitedly discussing their upcoming roles in the gore. As time dwindled, I attempted to maintain an outwardly cool appearance while frantically fighting a rising tide of anxiety. After much concern, I finally arrived upon an irrefutable fact; I had been performing an experimental assay all day, which could not be abandoned. Mercifully Dr. Stable agreed, and I managed to avert certain disaster at the posting.

After that day, work returned to a more familiar tempo with one small difference. While I continued to work dutifully, I knew that I was not going to follow in the footsteps of my parents and become a scientist. While still undecided, I am much more excited about a possible career in history, political science, or even architecture. I simply do not like science, despite my lineage. And that is a scientifically proven fact.

Edward
November 6th, 2004, 11:11 AM
How a career choice could be qualified as an ethical dilemma?

Pilaro
November 6th, 2004, 02:53 PM
The career choice is an ethical dilemma because both of my parents are scientists and both have really been tying to push me in the same direction. So I thought it seemed like a semi-ethical dilemma, choose science and go with the flow, or choose happiness and make a stand. Failing at the ethical dilemma portion, I can choose the "topic of your choice" for this essay instead.

Pilaro
November 9th, 2004, 01:08 AM
Well, since you (Edward) were probably the only person to read the essay, what did you think of the constuction and generall quality? Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Edward
November 9th, 2004, 02:14 PM
Boring - you need original thoughts, you have to show intellectual curiosity. Interview your parents on the subject of ethics in science – falsifying data, plagiarism, not citing previous research, enslaving graduate students – they must have some stories to tell. Have they educated you on the ethics in science? Present your reasoning on the subject.

Pilaro
November 10th, 2004, 12:36 AM
Thanks for the input, I've gotten lots of mixed messages about the essay, so I thought I should post it up on the board here becuase y'all are a rather intelligent bunch.