New technologies can raise new ethical and social issues, and can recast existing ethical and social issues in new forms. Those who are involved in the development of technology need to recognize the ethical implications of their work and to engage in clear, critical thinking and discussion in order to understand how the work should be placed in a broader social context.
At the same time, there is much work to be done in understanding and addressing longstanding ethical and social issues that can arise in research and in professional practice.
The Center for Ethics and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology was established in 2007 to coordinate efforts across the Institute and beyond to address these issues, working within a context that affords particular opportunities and presents particular needs. There is at Georgia Tech:
• an opportunity to identify and examine the most urgent ethical and social issues
arising from cutting-edge research on campus, particularly nanotechnology and
• an opportunity to take the lead in scholarship at the intersection of engineering
and research ethics;
• a need for support, materials, and assessment tools for research ethics education
programs in order to meet or exceed the requirements of federal grants; and
• a need for support, materials, and assessment tools for the multifaceted
approaches being taken to satisfy the ABET accreditation criteria that call for ethics
education in engineering degree programs.
The center is affiliated with the School of Public Policy
at Georgia Tech, and overlaps with graduate-level Research Ethics
programs supported by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Innovation.