Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Interview with CSEP Director, Dr. Elisabeth Hildt in Lewis College's Magazine

In the latest version of IIT's Lewis College of Human Sciences magazine, Big Picture, CSEP Director Elisabeth Hildt talks a bit about how she became interested in the area of applied ethics, how she is adjusting to life in Chicago, and what drew her to IIT and to the Ethics Center.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Conference: The Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain – Perspectives on the Neuro-Turn in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

The Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain – Perspectives on the Neuro-Turn in the Social Sciences and the Humanities.

Alte Mensa Building, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany

March 30 – March 31, 2015

It is now almost 25 years since the U.S. Congress authorized the then president, George Bush sr., to proclaim the decade beginning January 1, 1990 as the Decade of the Brain. This proclamation stimulated a number of initiatives that substantially benefitted neuroscience research in the following years. Alongside this rise of neuroscience and the corresponding increase of public awareness, many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences have shifted towards more brain based and evolutionary informed approaches. New research fields such as Neuroethics, Neuroeconomics, Cognitive Cultural Studies, Neuroaesthetics or even Neurotheology have gained a following. In addition to surveying the mutual interactions between the cognitive neurosciences and the social sciences and humanities, this interdisciplinary symposium investigates the methodological and conceptual prospects and perils of choosing a neuroscience approach to the social sciences and the humanities. The symposium aims to shed light on a broad range of epistemological, historical and sociological questions about the purported neuro-turn in the social sciences and the humanities. Speakers include among others

Sabine Maasen (TU Munich)

Steve Woolgar and Tanja Schneider (Oxford University)

Paul Hoyningen-Huene (Leibniz University, Hannover)

Scott Vrecko (King’s College London)

Melissa Littlefield (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Participation is free, but places are limited. To participate, please register until March 22nd by sending an e-mail to Jon Leefmann (leefmann[at]

The symposium is part of the project ‘The Neuro-Turn in the European Social Sciences and Humanities’ funded by the German Research Association (DFG).

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

IIT Students: Please Take Our IPRO Survey!

IPRO 308 needs your help!

The IPRO is exploring the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants on the IIT campus and student perceptions of how often and for what purpose these stimulants are used. In order to do this, the IPRO team have created an online survey, and we invite you to take part!

The survey will ask you to examine your attitudes towards nonmedical use of prescription stimulants, motivations behind use, ease of access, as well as your perception of the benefits obtained (or not obtained) from use of various prescription stimulants.

You can access the survey at You will need to log into your IIT account at to access this survey, but your email will not be linked to your responses.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Should the AIA ban Architects from designing prisons?

In a New York Times article on "Prison Architecture and the Question of Ethics" Architect Raphael Sperry advocates for the ban on certain forms of prison architecture. As stated in the American Institute of Architects' code of ethics and professional conduct, "Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors."

Sperry, who is also the president of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, believes that "Architects have an ethical responsibility to uphold human rights." Defending this clause should include the prohibition of architecture that would promote execution and torture, and would bring the profession in line with the same standards as lawyers and medical professionals.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

'Open Mind' : A free collection of research on the mind, brain, and consciousness now available online.

The Mind Group, run by the University of Mainz-based philosophy professor Thomas Metzinger,  is an interdisciplinary group that fosters encounters between scholars and students in ethics and research. To commemorate their 20th meeting, the Mind Group has curated an online collection of innovative research on the mind and the brain, consciousness and the self.

The online collection includes contributions by internationally renowned researchers and advanced graduate and undergraduate students working in various fields, including philosophy, psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience.

The information is available freely online at and the full press release can be found here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Davis and Laas present at the Second International Workshop on "The Construction of Engineering Ethics Without Borders."

On December 5, 2014, Dr. Michael Davis and CSEP Librarian Kelly Laas took part in the Second International Workshop on "The Construction of Engineering Ethics Education Without Borders" in Tokyo, Japan.

The conference centered on the work of the Japanese Society on Engineering Education's Research Committee on Engineering Ethics, who have developed an impressive set of learning objectives, teaching modules, and assessment/evaluation methods for engineering ethics education. These materials are meant to be used by the international community, and represent an extensive amount of work and input by JSEE and international collaborators. Along with sharing thoughts about how these materials may work in a U.S. setting, Dr. Davis and Ms. Laas shared information about the Center's experience in assisting engineering faculty in teaching ethics and the role a librarian can play in integrating ethics across the engineering curriculum.

From left top to right bottom, Kelly Laas, CSEP Librarian; Dr. Wen-ling Hong, Assistant Professor, Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering and Director, Center for STS, College of Ocean Engineering, National Kaosiung Marine University Taiwan; Dr. Hassan Bashir, Associate Professor , Director, and Founding of the Initiative in Professional Ethics, Texas A&M University at Qatar, D.r Jun Fudano, Chair, Research Committee on Engineering Ethics, JSEE Director, Applied Ethics Center for Engineering and Science , Kanazawa Institute of Technology; Dr. Dongjoo Song, Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, Yeugnam University, and Dr. Micchael Davis, Senior Fellow, CSEP, Illinois Institute of Technology.

CSEP closed for IIT's Winter Break

The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions will be closed from December 18-January 4th for IIT's winter break. We will reopen for normal business hours starting January 5th.

Seasons greetings to all of our friends and colleagues and we hope you have an excellent start to 2015!