Becoming the Online Resource Center for Ethics Education in Engineering and Science

Areas of Interest:


Project Type:


Latest Update: February 5, 2016
Primary Contact: Frazier Benya
  • John Ahearne
    Executive Director Emeritus
    Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
    Research Triangle Park, NC, United States
  • Stephanie J. Bird
    Ethics Consultant and Co-Editor of Science and Engineering Ethics
    Science and Engineering Ethics Journal
  • William L. Chameides
    Nicholas Professor of the Environment
    Duke University
  • Derrick Cogburn
    Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP)
    American University
  • Felice Levine
    Executive Director
    American Educational Research Association
  • W. Carl Lineberger
    E.U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Fellow of JILA
    University of Colorado
  • Michael C. Loui
    Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education
    Purdue University
    Urbana, IL
  • Carl Mitcham
    Hans Jonas Chair at the European Graduate School and Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies
    Colorado School of Mines
  • Robert Nerem
    Institute Professor and Parker H. Petit Professor Emeritus
    Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Victoria Stodden
    Associate Professor
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Responsible science and engineering require attention to ethics and social justice. Ignoring these concerns can undermine research efforts and the social institutions that sustain them and lead to unintended and undesirable outcomes. As science and engineering become more multidisciplinary, global, and complex, it is increasingly important that scientists and engineers actively consider not only the practical (“Can this be done?”) but also the ethical questions (“Should this be done?” “Who should make that decision?”). Current, dynamic resources are needed to help them examine such questions and to teach students about ethics in engineering and science.

This project expands and upgrades the National Academy of Engineering’s Online Ethics Center (OEC) to be the go-to online source of critical resources and support for ethics education in both science and engineering. Redesigned and augmented content (e.g., enhanced with new pedagogical resources and ethical commentaries) as well as the collection of new content will provide information for practitioners, educators, and students about ethical, social justice, diversity, and globalization considerations associated with science and engineering. Content editorial boards in six areas are reviewing, identifying, and developing materials and working with various communities to meet their needs. Co-PI Karin Ellison from Arizona State University will lead the way with her plans for the Life and Environmental Sciences Editorial Board. The Content Editorial Boards are:

The project is also redesigning and strengthening technical and communal aspects of the site that support both the resource collection and the community of users and authors. The new site will offer expanded searching abilities and other updated features as well as a new users’ community that will connect author profiles to resources and enable users to comment on the value of resources. Collaboration with the Ethics Education Library (EEL) of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology will provide access to a wider array of materials and promote interactions with other repositories of ethics-related information.

This five-year project, undertaken with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, is funded by the National Science Foundation and overseen by an advisory committee that includes leaders in ethics, the sciences, and engineering.

To learn more about the project, please contact Frazier Benya.


Online Ethics Center
Online Ethic Center homepage
The Online Ethics Center provides information, case studies, and resources on ethics in engineering and science.