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Ethics Institute to support experiential learning, research

The Ethics Insti­tute at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has launched this fall, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties and the Depart­ment of Phi­los­ophy and Reli­gion. The inno­v­a­tive insti­tute is ded­i­cated to bringing eth­ical analysis and eval­u­a­tion to social and envi­ron­mental issues.

Directed by Ronald San­dler, asso­ciate pro­fessor of phi­los­ophy, the insti­tute will pro­mote research, edu­ca­tion and com­mu­nity dis­course on eth­ical issues that arise in con­tem­po­rary life and on the eth­ical and value com­po­nents of public policy.

“The Ethics Insti­tute will sup­port fac­ulty and stu­dents con­ducting inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, stu­dents par­tic­i­pating in class­room learning and expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion and com­mu­nity engage­ment,” San­dler said.

The inter­dis­ci­pli­nary fac­ulty asso­ci­ated with the Ethics Insti­tute teach and con­duct research on a diverse range of topics, such as human rights, global jus­tice, reli­gious and med­ical ethics, war and ter­rorism, envi­ron­mental ethics and jus­tice, ethics and emerging tech­nolo­gies and the evo­lu­tion of ethics. The insti­tute, which will intro­duce new work­shops, research groups, pro­grams and events throughout the year, recently hosted the 2011 Work­shop in Applied Philosophy.

The work­shop brought together an inter­na­tional group of ethi­cists, philoso­phers and others working on eth­ical issues related to the engi­neering of bio­log­ical and eco­log­ical sys­tems. “The work­shop pro­vided speakers with an oppor­tu­nity to receive con­struc­tive feed­back from leading scholars working on these issues,” San­dler said.

The event was sup­ported in part by two National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion grants, funding the Nan­otech­nology in the Public Interest research group and Northeastern’s Center for High-​​rate Nanoman­u­fac­turing.

– by Greg St. Martin

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