the Ethics beat
I haVE assUmEd responsibility for the ethics column in Com- munications Viewpoints sec- tion. The Computing Ethics column will appear occasionally and provide an editorial focus promoting understanding and resolution
of ethical issues of concern to people
in the computing profession. This inaugural column has two goals: to provide information about the center I
run and to briefly highlight the work
of two people who have contributed to
ethics in the areas of computer science
I direct the Center for Engineering,
Ethics, and Society (CEES, http://www.
nae.edu/ethicscenter) at the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
The NAE is part of The National Academies, a federally chartered membership organization that advises the U.S.
on science, engineering, and medicine.
The NAE launched CEES in 2007 with
support from member Harry E. Bovay,
Jr.; the Bovay grant provides core funding through 2011. CEES examines and
helps to resolve societal and ethical issues through workshops, conferences,
research, and education.
CEES manages the Online Ethics
Center (OEC) at the NAE (
www.on-lineethics.org). OEC provides professionals and students in science and
engineering with resources for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their
work. It promotes learning and advances the understanding of responsible research and practice. CEES is currently
revamping the OEC with support from
the U.S. National Science Foundation
(NSF) that began in May 2009. Site improvements will provide assistance to
principal investigators and academic
institutions regarding new requirements for ethics instruction in the
American COMPETES Act of 2007. The
People section explains how you can
contribute, and you can use the Ask-Us
link in that section to ask questions.
The NSF recently provided support for
CEES to hold a workshop on Ethics
Education in Scientific and Engineer-
ing Research: What’s Been Learned?
What Should Be Done? (See the report
by that title from National Academies
Press, 2009; http://books.nap.edu/
worked with its advisory group and the
National Research Council’s Division
on Policy and Global Affairs and the
Academies-wide Committee on Sci-
ence, Engineering, and Public Policy to
develop the project.