Online Ethics Center for Engineering and science
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  • The first of two brief videos based on interviews with leaders in climate adaptation, city management, engineering systems, public engagement, and other key fields, who gathered at the national meeting on “Climate Change and America’s Infrastructure: Engineering, Social, and Policy Challenges,” January 28-30, 2013.
  • This video highlights participant views about the wide range of expertise and public involvement that will be needed to respond adequately to the stresses on engineering systems from climate change. It is designed to enable educators and others to engage with engineers and the public about the numerous challenges, and to stimulate discussion about how to respond.
What is the OEC?

The Online Ethics Center (OEC) is a repository of resources on the ethics of science, engineering, and research that help engineers, scientists, scholars, educators, students, and interested citizens understand and address ethically significant topics and problems that arise in the practice and results of science and engineering.

A five-year improvement effort to update and expand site, with new features and content, began in 2014 with an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). More information about the OEC can be found in the About section.

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  • Workshop on What’s Missing in the Technical? Rendering the Social Visible by Integrating Social Justice Where It Matters Most

    PostedWednesday, May 25, 2016 AT 8:09 AM

    Workshop on What’s Missing in the Technical? Rendering the Social Visible by Integrating Social Justice Where It Matters Most—Engineering Problem Definition and Solution
    Sun. June 26, 2016 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    New Orleans Convention Center, 266

    Are you interested in classroom tools that will prepare students for socially relevant and just engineering problem definition and solution, promote better learning in engineering classrooms, and enhance student diversity, satisfaction and persistence in engineering? This workshop is led by facilitators who are excited to share their experiences making social justice visible in engineering education and making conferences fun as well as constructive.

    Research suggests that making the sociotechnical dimensions of engineering visible can accomplish all of the goals described above, yet much of undergraduate engineering education still presents students with technical problems that are stripped of their social context and complexity. ...

  • Session on Infusing Ethics Report at ASEE Annual Meeting

    PostedWednesday, May 25, 2016 AT 7:59 AM

    Panel: Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Approaches
    Tue. June 28, 2016 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM
    New Orleans Convention Center, 270

    Ethical practice is crucial for ensuring public trust in engineers and engineering, especially as engineers increasingly tackle international and socially complex problems that combine technical and ethical challenges. Both ABET, the group that accredits engineering programs in the U.S., and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have acknowledged the importance of preparing engineers for ethical practice by requiring accredited and funded programs to develop undergraduate and graduate student competence in this area. There is, however, not much information about the variety of exemplary approaches and programs that successfully infuse ethics and considerations of social implications into engineering curricula to fulfill the ethics requirement for ABET accreditation. This panel discussion will present the results of a National Academy ...

  • In Memoriam:  Dr. Vivian Weil
    In Memoriam: Dr. Vivian Weil

    PostedMonday, May 23, 2016 AT 9:42 AM

    Vivian Weil, professor of ethics and Director Emeritus of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology, passed away on May 7, 2016. She was a member of the IIT faculty for 44 years and a founding member and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions from 1987-2014. She was an influential advisor to the NAE Center for Engineering Ethics and Society and the Online Ethics Center.  She made foundational contributions to scholarship and education about research and engineering ethics.

     As noted in the memorial notice, May 10, IIT, “she will be greatly missed by her colleagues, and her legacy will continue through the countless younger colleagues and students she mentored and the activities of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions.”  The notice can be found at

    Weil received her A.B. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and her ...

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Contribute to the OEC

The OEC seeks submissions of high-quality ethics education resources in science and engineering for inclusion in its collection. Interdisciplinary materials are particularly welcome, as are resources that promote active learning at the undergraduate or graduate level. Materials are also needed to assist faculty new to teaching in science and engineering ethics. For more information on submitting materials, see the Contribute to the OEC page.

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