by: John P. Perhonis
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been making awards in ethics education for
more than 20 years through its Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science and Technology
Program in the Directorate of Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. The Ethics and Value Studies component
of this program funds research on ethical and value issues that arise in the practice of
science in its social context. This link also provides a profile of current NSF Research
Experience for Undergraduate awards that have ethics components.
Some NSF awards have trained faculty to incorporate ethics into their science and
engineering classes; other awards have resulted in specific products that educate science
and engineering students and professionals in ethical issues. This forum breakout session
featured two very successful products that have resulted from NSF awards in ethics
education. The first is a scenario-based video for classroom use aimed at providing the
tools for starting conversations that lead to the development of ethical reasoning skills.
The video uses academic integrity as a bridge to understanding professional ethics.
The second is a CD-ROM titled Understanding
Computer Ethics produced by Educational Media Resources, a non-profit corporation
specializing in educational programs. The CD serves as an effective stand-alone
intervention for self-education, and as a pedagogical tool for classroom teaching. The
video and CD can be used in both formal and informal educational settings. Both
demonstrate the potential of media tools for scientists and engineers in professional
development and teaching.
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