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Ethics Institute to support experiential learning, research

Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

The Ethics Institute at Northeastern University has launched this fall, a collaboration between the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. The innovative institute is dedicated to bringing ethical analysis and evaluation to social and environmental issues.

Directed by Ronald Sandler, associate professor of philosophy, the institute will promote research, education and community discourse on ethical issues that arise in contemporary life and on the ethical and value components of public policy.

“The Ethics Institute will support faculty and students conducting interdisciplinary research, students participating in classroom learning and experiential education and community engagement,” Sandler said.

The interdisciplinary faculty associated with the Ethics Institute teach and conduct research on a diverse range of topics, such as human rights, global justice, religious and medical ethics, war and terrorism, environmental ethics and justice, ethics and emerging technologies and the evolution of ethics. The institute, which will introduce new workshops, research groups, programs and events throughout the year, recently hosted the 2011 Workshop in Applied Philosophy.

The workshop brought together an international group of ethicists, philosophers and others working on ethical issues related to the engineering of biological and ecological systems. “The workshop provided speakers with an opportunity to receive constructive feedback from leading scholars working on these issues,” Sandler said.

The event was supported in part by two National Science Foundation grants, funding the Nanotechnology in the Public Interest research group and Northeastern’s Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing.