The Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society (CEES) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) manages the Online Ethics Center (OEC). The OEC mission is to:
- provide students and practicing engineers and scientists with resources for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their work, and
- serve those who are promoting learning and advancing the understanding of responsible research and practice in engineering and science.
The OEC contains a wide range of information, including case studies and references, for ethics and ethics education in engineering and science and focuses on problems that arise in and for the work life of engineers and scientists. Its audience includes practitioners, educators and students, and individuals interested in professional and research ethics.
The OEC website was founded by Professor Caroline Whitbeck and was transferred to the NAE in 2007 through the efforts of former NAE President Wm. A. Wulf, and with the help of a generous gift from NAE member Harry E. Bovay Jr. A grant (#0936865) from the National Science Foundation made it possible to provide new resources on the OEC designed to assist individuals and institutions seeking to respond to the 2007 America COMPETES Act requirements. As part of this grant the site was redesigned and restructured to improve searches and create a more user-friendly interface.
Currently the OEC is undergoing an expansion and redesign also supported by the National Science Foundation (#1355547). This project will expand the purview of the OEC to incorporate ethics materials related to all NSF supported fields of science and encourage the consideration of ethics and social justice in the work and education of engineers and scientists. Learn more about this expansion on the Becoming the Online Resource Center for Ethics Education in Engineering and Science project page.