Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Presentation on "A Bottom-Up Approach to Building a Culture of Responsible Research and Practice in STEM” at Downtown Illinois Tech Campus, 10/20

We hope you will join us at our upcoming research presentation as part of Stuart School of Business's Friday Research Presentations series on October 20, 2017 at 10 am. We will be presenting on the status of our National Science Foundation-funded project, "A Bottom-Up Approach to Building a Culture of Responsible Research and Practice in STEM," and we hope you will join us!

We will be meeting in Illnois Tech's downtown campus location at 565 W. Adams Street, Room 470.


Integrating Ethical Codes and Concerns in Multiple Disciplinary Teams: A Roundtable Discussion

Integrating Ethical Codes and Concerns in Multiple Disciplinary Teams: A Roundtable Discussion

Guest speakers:
Samantha Dempsey (Upstream Health Innovations at Hennepin County Medical Center) and Ciara Taylor (UpLift Data Partners)

Sponsored by
The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) and  the Stuart Business School through the Faculty Innovation Award Bottom-Up Ethics: Real World Training for Professional Practice

Although most students have some exposure to ethics education through their university programs, the opportunities to apply ethics training in real world circumstances are rare, especially for those who will eventually work in multiple disciplinary teams where members may have different levels of training in, and interpretations of, what constitutes ethical practice. As the pace of innovation increases and new areas of scientific, design, and commercial practices emerge, conventional ethics education may be insufficient for situations that students will encounter in their professional careers.

The goal of this roundtable is to begin a conversation about ethics in situations where multiple perspectives – those of clients, diverse set of team members, and stakeholders - create a need for thinking about the complexities of ethical issues. Please join us for an open discussion with Samantha Dempsey and Ciara Taylor, creators of Ethics Quest and The Designer’s Oath on Monday, Oct. 23rd from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in the MTCC, Faculty Club, in Room 106.

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by October 19th by email to laas@iit.edu

Friday, October 13, 2017

CSEP partner in Fall 2017 Faculty Award, "Bottom-UP Ethics: Real World Training for Professional Practice"


CSEP is partnering with Armour College's Biomedical Engineering Program and the Stuart School of Business to experiment with a new way of engaging students to ethics in research practice. 
Most students have some exposure to ethics during their education; however, the concept of ethics is abstract and professional codes are intentionally general, which makes them impersonal. Research suggests that traditional ethics education involving lectures and/or case studies fails to engage students in meaningful ways. For students, opportunities to apply ethics training in real world circumstances are rare, especially for those who will eventually work in multiple disciplinary teams where members may have different levels of training in, and interpretations of, what constitutes ethical practice. As the pace of innovation increases and new areas of scientific practice emerge, conventional ethics education may be insufficient for situations that students will encounter in their professional careers.
This proposal team includes Christine Miller (Stuart School), and Elisabeth Hildt, Kelly Laas and Stephanie Taylor from the Center for the study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP).  Based on lessons learned from a pilot event conducted in the summer 2017 REU program led by Professor Eric Brey, in which this team applied an alternative approach that introduces ethics in situ and at the level of teams and lab groups, this proposes a similar approach. An extracurricular supplement will be designed for the current Introduction to the Profession (ITP) in the BME program that includes two components: a hands-on workshop event followed by a panel of industry professionals who will discuss situations they have experienced relative to a range of ethical issues.  Participants will include Chicago members of the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association, with whom CSEP has a long-standing collaboration. The proposed approach will first invite students enrolled in BME 100 to participate with the support of the instructor of that course, Dr. Dhar, but the module can be adapted to any ITP course.
The team will work with designers Ciara Taylor and Samantha Dempsey who collaborated with Professor Brey and the Ethics Center on the REU workshop. Taylor and Dempsey are developers of a participatory approach to introducing ethics in the context of team-based projects. Along with collaborating on the development of the workshop event, they will help recruit individuals through their professional networks and prepare lectures for Illinois Tech students and faculty as part of their participation. Taylor and Dempsey’s initial project in developing ethics training was inspired by their experiences in professional practice. Their goal was to raise awareness among multiple disciplinary teams engaged in healthcare-related product and process design. They have facilitated workshops at multiple conferences and have since created another initiative which incorporates aspects of gamification, “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

Consider Submitting an Abstract for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Conference

The annual meeting for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics will be held in Chicago on March 1-4th 2018 and Illinois Tech faculty and students should think about submitting an abstract! 

This call invites individuals from all disciplines and professions interested in advancing scholarship, teaching and a general understanding of practical and professional ethics. Submissions are invited on ethical issues in all fields including business, engineering, government, media, law, medicine, science and technology as well as interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary issues that cut across professions such as biomedical, educational, environmental, public health and research.

The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) is a multidisciplinary, international organization advancing scholarship, education, and practice in practical and professional ethics. They facilitate and support collaboration among scholars and teachers, business and government leaders, and professionals from all areas concerned with the practical application of ethics and values.



The deadline for submission is October 27, 2017.

We hope you think about presenting and attending this great event!

Friday, August 18, 2017

NSF to Strengthen Responsible Conduct of Research Requirements.

Yesterday, Science Magazine featured an article discussing the decision of the National Science Foundation to reinforce its responsible conduct of research (RCR) policy in light of a report released by the Office of the Inspector General in late July finding  that a number of universities receiving NSF funding either did not have a RCR training policy in place or did not require students to complete the training before participating in an NSF-funded project. The report also pressed the agency to provide written guidelines or templates for universities to follow when developing these kind of training programs.

Current NSF policy gives universities a wide amount of leeway in how they want to provide RCR training for students, and the NSF is currently funding a number of project seeking to pioneer new ways of introducing students to responsible conduct of research and how to effectively identify and handle ethical issues that come up in the course of research. The Ethics Center is currently starting year two of its NSF-funded project, "A Bottom-Up Approach to Building a Culture of Responsible Research and Practice in STEM" in which groups of graduate students will develop discipline and research group-specific ethical guidelines aimed at providing support in handling ethical issues important to the research environment they work in. This year, we will be working with four different departments -two in science and two in engineering- to pilot this approach.

If successful, approaches like this could be another option for universities in the near future to fulfill this NSF training requirement.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Remembering Vivian Weil

The June edition of Science and Engineering Ethics includes a wonderful article remembering the Center's former director, Dr. Vivian Weil, who passed away in May of 2016. At the meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) in Dallas, Texas in February 2017 a special tribute session honoring Dr. Weil was held, during which four colleagues shared some of their memories and thoughts.  Speakers were: Dr. Michael Davis, Professor of Philosophy at Illinois Tech and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Rachelle Hollander, Director of the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society at the National Academy of Engineering,  Deni Elliott, Professor of Digital Journalism and Design at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Michael Prichard, Professor Emeritus and Co-Directer for the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan State.

Thanks again to Science and Engineering Ethics for sharing this with Dr. Weil's friends and colleagues.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Join the Ethics Center for a play and discussion of Queen at the Victory Gardens Theater on May 10th!


Join the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions to watch the play Queen  at the Victory Gardens Theater on Saturday, May 10th at 7:30 pm.  We will also be meeting for dinner at a nearby resturaunt before the performance, details TBD.

All are welcome! 


If interested, please email Kelly Laas at laas@iit.edu

Synopsis of the play: PhD candidates Sanam and Ariel have spent the better part of the last decade exhaustively researching vanishing bee populations across the globe. Just as these close friends are about to publish a career-defining paper, Sanam stumbles upon an error in their calculations, which could cause catastrophic damage to their reputations, careers, and friendship. Now, Sanam is confronted with an impossible choice: look the other way or stand by her principles and accept the consequences?

Location: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 North Lincoln Ave. Chicago IL 60614