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Science for the Common Good

The Institute for Practical Ethics develops and promotes research on issues facing the public today, with an emphasis on engagement between ethicists, scientists, and policymakers. We aim to close the gap between the rapid pace of innovation and society’s ability to responsibly deal with the tough questions.

  • What would be the impact on society if parents could easily modify their children's genes for specific traits?

  • Is it ethical to introduce reflective particles into the atmosphere to combat global warming?

  • What ethical principles should be programmed into driverless cars?

Responsible Engagement

As one of the signature initiatives of the UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities, the Institute for Practical Ethics is an interdisciplinary research unit dedicated to the goal of creating socially responsible science and policy.

Vision & Mission


San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten speaks at a press conference about the coronavirus pandemic. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

In the News

Visiting Scholars Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick and Cedric Whitney weigh in on digitizing the COVID-19 contact-tracing process

Carlsbad sign Image via Shutterstock

In the News

Data Analytics researcher Lilly Irani tells Voice of San Diego surveillance analytics poses potential harms to communities

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Practical Ethics co-director to serve on National Academies committee

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