We aim to develop a new, practicum-based science ethics training program which will be particularly appropriate for the diverse, practically oriented student population at the University of Houston. This project, "Experiencing Ethics", is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Click here to read more about this effort.

Coverage in the journal Science of the AAAS

The journal Science had a nice commentary about our Ethics in Science program.
The article is entitled "Responsibly conducting research."

It is also posted at the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science
at the National Academy of Engineering.

Ethics in Science Seminar

Public Ethics, Politics and Sociobiology

Professor Myrna Perez Sheldon

11, 2016
11:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
232 Philip G. Hoffman Hall

When E.O. Wilson published Sociobiology: A New Synthesis in 1974, the book set off an academic controversy that crystallized divergent visions of the nature of natural science, and its appropriate role in the American political context. This talk examines the altercations between Wilson and his colleague, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould through their publications and correspondence. Wilson held to a classically liberal vision of science as the necessary foundation for a democratic society. In his view, science ought to be defended from cultural criticism and interference. In contrast, Gould was deeply concerned about the history of scientific racism and sexism in the United States. Influenced by his participation in leftist activist movements, Gould believed that science could best participate in social justice if it opened itself up to the American public. These divergent views of science and public ethics translated into a bitter disagreement between these evolutionary scientists at the height of the sociobiology controversy. Read more...

  • Featured Blog

    Waltzing on a tightrope

    By Mythri Pullela | November 28, 2015

    Scientific endeavors can be described as nothing short of the proverbial term-‘Playing with fire’. Like fire, it is great potential and hazard rolled into one. But the one strong resemblance that leads me to this comparison is how we learn from it. A child would know not to get too close to his birthday candle once he burns himself. True, we get numerous warnings from our ever-watchful parents but nothing teaches us what the flame does like our first burn. It is true that experiences in the lab help us to learn from our mistakes but how do we avoid such ‘mistakes’? Most of the scientific guidelines we have today are a result of experiences (unfortunately most of them unpleasant ones) from the past. Read more ...

  • Featured Blog

    My Ethics and My Environment

    By Suraj Upadhyaya | November 27, 2015

    Numbers of electronic devices has increased more than 5 times around the world since industrial revolution. We all need energy to operate it. Our modern life is built on energy. Does anyone know where in the world this energy coming from, this is coming from burning fuels, coals etc. Fifty percent of US energy comes from the Coal and 80 % of Chinas energy comes from Coal. Remember burning anything releases carbon, burning coal and oil which are dense in carbon release carbon a lot. That carbon mixed in atmosphere and degrade the ozone layer, and when carbon mix with the oxygen in atmosphere act like a blanket and reserve heat in our surrounding thus temperature rises. Read more ...

  • Featured Blog

    Balancing The United States Energy Profile

    By Tyler Watkins | December 10, 2014

    In a recent study by H Damon Matthews et al. of Concordia University, it was found that the United States was the global leader in green house gas emissions. These gases have been proven to build up in the earth’s atmosphere and trap heat over time. Their accumulation has led to changes in the global climate and the United States’ government must not only take responsibility, but also make significant strides into lowering these harmful emissions. Read more ...

  • Featured Blog

    Timeless designs and irresponsible practices

    By Olga Bannova | December 10, 2014

    There are famous architects whose names probably well‐known even to people who are far from architectural profession: Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel and quite few others. They have received Pritzker prizes and their creations are distributed around the world on postcards and tourists brochures. After all, buildings that we construct now and that will stand for years to come will represent our times to future generations, right? Maybe it is true and nothing else matters except a masterpiece that left for centuries to admire, argue about, or even hate but never remain neutral about it. Read more ...

Featured Course

Ethics in Science (Fall 2016)

The course focuses on historical perspectives and current practices of ethics and professional responsibility in science, technology engineering and mathematics. It includes a practicum component in a science or medical lab.

Read more ...