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Research & Activities

The activities of the IPE center on increasing the amount of ethical research and deliberation on campus. To this end, activities will include:

  • High visibility international speakers and conferences on issues of campus concern (e.g. gene drive mosquitos, robotics, stem cells)
  • Interdisciplinary research groups on particular topics, consisting of existing faculty, PhD students, postdocs and visiting scholars
  • Publicly available research, from academic publications, interventions in popular media, white papers or policy proposals, or other forms of creative expression
  • Convening of small groups of international experts for weekend workshops focused on an emergent scientific or technological issue


IPE Seed Grants 2018-2019

AI and the Future of Society
Faculty: Ulrike Schaede (Professor, School of Global Policy & Strategy) 

Ethical and Faith Perceptions of Interventions That Have Public Health Implications in Less Developed Countries
Faculty: Wael Al-Delaimy (Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health) 

Ethics and Policy Implications of Algorithms and Big Data
Faculty: Akos Rona-Tas (Professor, Department of Sociology)

Ethics, Theatre, and Science: Cross‐Disciplinary Fostering of Ethics and Science Conversations
Faculty: Michael Kalichman (Director, Research Ethics Program) and Emily Roxworthy (Professor, Department of Theatre & Dance)

Evidence and Scientific Method: Rigor versus Use
Faculty: Nancy Cartwright (Distinguished Professor, Department of Philosophy)

Examining Views of Geneticists and Clinicians on Racial Classification and Genetic Ancestry
Faculty: Amy Non (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology), Justin Meyer (Assistant Professor, Division of Biological Sciences), Angela Booker (Associate Professor, Department of Communication)

Moral Responsibility Working Group and Conference
Faculty: Dana Nelkin (Professor, Department of Philosophy) and Manuel Vargas (Professor, Department of Philosophy)

Probabilistic Moral Judgments in Action: Decisions in Wartime and Driving
Faculty: Dana Nelkin (Professor, Department of Philosophy), Samuel Rickless (Professor, Department of Philosophy), and Nicholas Christenfeld (Professor, Department of Psychology)

Where Is Uncertainty in Data Science?
Faculty: Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology)


The Ethics and Social Implications of Active Genetics

In collaboration with the UCSD Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, IPE will begin a research program on the ethics of active genetics. This program will include the formation of the Ethics of Active Genetics Working Group, running workshops on the ethics of active genetics, and the training of scientists.


The Ethics and Social Implications of Big Data

In conjunction with the HDSI and Division of Social Sciences, the IPE is sponsoring Ethics and Policy Implications of Algorithms and Big Data. This workshop will address the rise of Big Data; the combination of the production and retrieval of large amounts of digital information with powerful algorithms on a hardware platform of ever-increasing capacity. It will gather social and computer scientists, activists, and practitioners interested in the ethics and policy implications of this technological revolution. We will survey the achievements, promises and technical challenges of Big Data, its effects on social inequalities and democracy, the cultural shift it is generating in the way we value knowledge, create art and conduct science, and the ways we may control it and influence its progress.

The workshop is scheduled for February 15-16, 2019.


The Foundational Questions in Human Enhancement

Human enhancement is increasingly becoming possible using pharmaceutical, mechanical or even genetic means. The extent to which humans should enhance themselves is a perennial question in society, with such debates largely occurring using philosophical or religious ideas. Faculty involved in the IPE are developing a project that would identify the perennial questions and then design social science research that could contribute to these debates.


Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series

The Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series sponsors one speaker a month, followed by discussion. The Seminar is held at the medical school for faculty, staff, and students. For the most up to date schedule, please click here.


Funding Opportunities

Please see the Professional Opportunities page. 


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