UC San Diego Thursday launched a new institute to study ethical issues surrounding innovations in technology and science.
Scholars at the Institute for Practical Ethics will explore how to close the gap between the rapid pace of innovation and society’s ability to deal with those advances responsibly.
Breakthroughs such as driverless cars and modified mosquitoes are among the examples of innovations that come with moral quandaries, according to the university.
The multi-disciplinary institute is made possible by a commitment by donors Joel and Ann Reed to make an annual contribution and to create a $1 million endowment, according to UCSD.
“As UC San Diego and other institutions move rapidly forward in medical, scientific and technological innovation, important ethical questions emerge,” said Ann Reed. “It is critical that scientists and humanists move forward together. Ethical questions should be investigated, and practical applications created as humans advance, so that the advancement will be ethical.”
The institute will be housed in the Division of Arts and Humanities. Its mission is to develop and promote cross-disciplinary research on ethical issues facing the public, with a special emphasis on encouraging deliberation among philosophers, scientists and policymakers.
Two UC San Diego faculty members, philosopher Craig Callender and sociologist John Evans, are serving as the first co-directors of the institute.
–City News Service
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