As part of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Profession’s mission to support research in the fields of practical and professional ethics, we sponsor a number of talks and events throughout the year in collaboration with other departments. Please be sure to check out our blog for more upcoming events and discussions of ethics-related news stories and resources. You are also welcome to check out our archive of past projects and events.
Join us on Wednesday, February 14 at 12:45 p.m. CST for a webinar featuring Ph.D. candidate Caspar Safarlou as he discusses the ethical challenges of comprehensive environmental health research.
In recent years, there is an increasing effort to combine advances in multi-omics measurements, exposure science, and big-data analytics in order to enable discovery-driven environmental health analyses. This effort coalesces in the exposome research program. As a complement to the genome, the exposome entails all environmental exposures and corresponding biological responses encountered throughout the lifespan of a person. Although this research program is well underway, the ethical aspects of exposome research are still only rarely discussed in the literature. In this presentation, we will discuss the results of a systematic ethics review of the literature.
Caspar Safarlou MA is a Ph.D. candidate at the University Medical Hospital Utrecht and Utrecht University. His research focuses on the ethical aspects of exposome research, which is a novel research program in environmental health research. Recent work includes a systematic review of exposome research, an analysis of the value of nonhypothesis-driven research, and a forthcoming paper on the nature-versus-nurture debate in exposome research.
In May 2023, the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions and the Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education hosted the International Conference on Computer Ethics; Philosophical Inquiry 2023 (CEPE 2023). Over 150 scholars worldwide joined us for both an in-person and virtual conference. Presentations explored issues such as issues of trust and bias in artificial intelligence, innovative new ways of integrating ethics into computer ethics curricula, and issues around human-Ai interactions in the fields of medicine, the workplace, and daily life.
The Ethics Center was extremely pleased to award the first Vivian Weil Award for best paper to Tobias Flattery and Christian Miller of Wake Forest University for their conference paper " Deepfakes and Dishonesty."
CEPE is a leading international conference that has played a significant role in defining the field and is held biennially. It was organized by INSEIT in collaboration with the Ionian University Research Team, IHRC (Information: History, Regulation, and Culture).
Machine Learning (ML) Fariness: A Webinar
On March 24 the Ethics Center sponsored a webinar featuring a conversation featuring guest speakers Lindsay Weinberg and Leilani Gilpin who shared their thoughts and approaches regarding the trends of machine learning fairness. Topics of discussion included how are dominant trends in artificial intelligence fairness research entrenching, rather than remedying, issues of bias and discrimination, and how explanations can be used for ensuring fairness and accountability. See a recording of the event.
Changing Perspectives on Human and Animal Experimentation
Dr. Anita Guerrinni joined us on October 12, 2022, for her talk titled "Changing Perspectives on Human and Animal Experimentation," during which she explored the history of the use of humans and animals in research ranging from William Harvey's research on the circulation of the blood in 1628 to the development of smallpox vaccine in 1798, to the development and production of polio vaccines in the 1950s. Dr. Guerrini focuses on both the benefits of these advances as well as many of the ethical questions raised in the use of animals and children in the development of these medical advances. See a recording of the event.
The webinar investigated the roles of climate change-related risks in the context of decision-making, policy, and law. It reflected on the role of the prudence principle for spending on climate security measures and discussed the life-threatening implications of pollution and climate change that result from human activity. See a recording of the event.
The webinar will explore the roles and responsibilities of governments and societal actors in the context of climate change. It will analyze what hinders stakeholders from more effectively promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation and reflect on what can be done to improve the situation. Topics include the role of science and amateurs in climate change conversations, the influence of businesses on policymaking around climate change, the importance of concern for the environment, solidarity, ecological reforms, and public education for climate justice. See a recording of the event.
A Virtual Symposium
In light of the slow progress being made to mitigate climate change, there is a need to reflect on the ethical considerations at play. How can ethics help structure the discussion and facilitate climate justice? This symposium seeks to engage stakeholders in discussing the ethical assumptions implicit in our discussions and actions around climate change. See a recording of the event.