Professional Ethics Report: Winter 2014

Date Published: 
08 Apr 2014

Cover Story

In the News


NSF Offers Funding for Ethics Research - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has updated its Ethics Education and Science and Engineering (EESE) program, changing the title to Cultivating Cultures for Ethical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CCE STEM).  The new program has been expanded to cover ethics education for students, faculty and researchers of all levels.

CCE STEM will fund research that identifies factors associated with ethical STEM practices. Suggested topics include: defining ethical STEM practices; identifying beneficial or detrimental institutional practices; exploring the efficacy of particular ethics educational programs; and determining the most impactful methods of ethics training. Research projects should include a comparative analysis component, analyzing specific factors that determine ethical practices within or between institutions. Factors might include, but are not limited to: professional ethics codes, licensing requirements, institutional programs cultivating ethics, membership in organizations that promote social responsibility, learning requirements, and institutions that emphasize group work. Researchers should examine how particular factors create and maintain ethical cultures, and consider ways of implementing their findings into research and educational environments.

Projects should reflect ethical practices in the fields of science and engineering that NSF supports. There is an anticipated total funding amount of three million dollars. The next upcoming proposal deadline is June 17, 2014. More information and proposal guidelines available at:


Call for Papers - The Center for Applied Ethics and Philosophy seeks submissions for its upcoming International Conference on Applied Ethics. The theme of the conference is “Security, Sustainability and Human Flourishing.” It will take place October 31 - November 2, 2014 at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. Reviewers will give preference to papers that directly relate to the conference theme, but also welcome submissions on applied ethics, broadly construed, that address philosophical, political, economic, social, and cultural issues in applied ethics beyond the conference theme. Submissions should be sent to by June 30, 2014.

Conference - The second annual conference on the Governance of Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy and Ethics, will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 27-29, 2014. The conference will consist of plenary and session presentations and discussions on regulatory, governance, legal, policy, social and ethical aspects of emerging technologies, including (but not limited to) nanotechnology, synthetic biology, biotechnology, genomics, personalized medicine, stem cell and regenerative medicine, human enhancement technologies, telecommunications, information technologies, surveillance technologies, geoengineering, neuroscience and robotics. The conference is premised on the belief that there is much to be learned and shared from and across the governance experience and proposals for these various emerging technologies. More information about the conference is available at

Contest - The journal Issues in Science and Technology (IST) is seeking submissions for a new science fiction contest. IST is a quarterly journal that explores the intersections of science, technology, society, and policy. The editors of IST believe that science fiction (SF) can help to bring key challenges and dilemmas in science and technology to an influential readership in new and compelling ways. Authors should submit a précis or brief treatment (no more than 250 words) of a science fiction story idea that explores themes in science, technology, and society. Throughout 2015, starting with the Winter volume, IST will publish one SF story per issue, on topics of broad societal interest. Published stories may be accompanied by a brief commentary or response written by a member of the National Academies. Stories should fall into one of the following five theme areas: big data / artificial intelligence / brain science; education / jobs / future of the economy; defense / security / privacy / freedom; biomedicine / genetics / health / future of the human; and future of scientific research / automation of research and discovery. Submissions must be received by June 1, 2014. Email your submission and contact information to:

Course - The Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University invites registration to its 40th Intensive Bioethics Course, Monday, June 2 through Friday, June 6, 2014 in Washington DC. The course revolves around plenary lectures on key principles of bioethics, followed by small group discussions led by an expert facilitator. One afternoon is devoted to lectures on ‘special topics’ such as feminist and religious perspectives on bioethics. For additional details on the course schedule and registration, see: