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

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