On Monday, June 3rd 2019, the Henry Luce Foundation hosted a convening, in recognition of the Clare Boothe Luce Program’s 30th Anniversary, of noted higher-education, institution-based ethicists and representatives from select Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) grantee institutions. Ten presenters from eight universities and colleges were joined by participants from thirty different institutions and members of Henry Luce Foundation staff, either in-person or via ZOOM video conference.
The goal of the convening was to launch a conversation on STEM Ethics and generate content ideas for the "Room for Wisdom: Clare Boothe Luce Program Participants' Perspectives on STEM Ethics and Society" blog. The 30th anniversary blog aims to draw upon the collective wisdom of the CBL community, and to discuss and share examples of practices to address questions of STEM Ethics. Select posts will be compiled into a "Room for Wisdom" book at the end of the year.
The meeting addressed the following topics, shared by the presenters below:
Presenter: Maggie Little, Ph.D., Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Director of Ethics Lab, Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University
Topic: The importance of fully integrating and normalizing ethical behaviors within all college and university STEM courses.
Presenter: John Lubker, Ed.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Graduate School, Concurrent Faculty, Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame
Topic: The need for ethical leadership training for graduate students and the development of the LASER program at the University of Notre Dame.
Presenter: Debra Mathews, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Science Programs, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University
Topic: Ethics based in-person and online classes held at Johns Hopkins University on bioethics and genometrics.
Presenter: Alan Fine, M.D., Director, Responsible Conduct of Research Program (RCR), Professor, Medicine Boston University
Topic: The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program for Ph.D. candidates and post-doctoral students developed at Boston University.
Presenter: Eric Tillman, Ph.D., Department Chair and Fletcher Jones Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Santa Clara University
Topic: The growth of STEM and ethics at Santa Clara University as supported by the CBL program.
Presenter: Don Heider, Ph.D.,CEO, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, John Courtney Murray, S.J. University Professor of Social Ethics, Santa Clara University
Topic: The role of faculty at Santa Clara University within the Markkula Center and Computer Science Department in integrating ethics within the computer science curriculum.
Presenter: Alexa Rihana-Abdallah, Ph.D., Professor of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, University of Detroit Mercy
Topic: The development of courses at the University of Detroit Mercy for non-majors to learn about STEM Ethics, particularly with regard to environmental stewardship.
Presenter: Rachel Fink, Ph.D., Chair of Biological Sciences, Ida & Marion Van Natta Professor of Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College
Topic: How ethics is incorporated within biology classes at Mount Holyoke College through mock debate and peer learning.
Presenter: Joan DeBello, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Chair, Div. of Computer Science, Mathematics & Science, CPS, St. John’s University
Topic: The importance of integrating ethical values within the Computer Science Department at St. John’s University through student-teacher contracts and case study analysis.
Presenter: Gina Florio, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Former Clare Boothe Luce Professor, St. John’s University
Topic: St. John University’s integrated approach to STEM learning through the “Solving Big Problems” two semester long research course for STEM students.
Presentations were followed by a Q&A session in which the audience was given an opportunity to pose questions to the presenters. Throughout the discussion, presenters stressed the importance of empowering students to think critically about ethics, fighting knowledge silos to increase governance and oversight of ethics, and being leaders within professor and student communities to champion ethical behavior.
After the meeting, the Clare Boothe Luce Program team identified a number of themes from the convening which guest bloggers and CBL Program staff will address in articles throughout the year. These themes include:
Keep an eye out for more on STEM Ethics from the CBL team and guest contributors in the coming weeks!
Sarah DeMartazzi is the Program Assistant for the Clare Boothe Luce Program. Prior to joining the Luce Foundation, Sarah was the administrative assistant for the PCLB Foundation, managing their office space and providing support for their grant cycle. She was also previously a research assistant at the New School and in the law firm of Paul Weiss. Sarah earned a master’s degree from the New School in Politics, focusing on Global Environmental Politics, and she earned her bachelor’s degree at Penn State University in International Relations with a minor in Environmental Inquiry.