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.

Ethics in Science Seminar

The Origin of Social Impulse:
E.O. Wilson’s Recent and Controversial Rejection of Kin Selection in Historical Context

Professor Abraham H. Gibson

4, 2015
11:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
232 Philip G. Hoffman Hall

E.O. Wilson’s recent decision to reject kin selection has sent shockwaves throughout the biological sciences. Over the past five years, more than a hundred researchers have signed letters protesting the Harvard biologist’s dramatic reversal. The skirmish has inspired heated debate among colleagues and has generated headlines in many of the world’s major newspapers. Making sense of Wilson’s decision and the controversy it has spawned requires familiarity with the historical record. This entails not only examining the conditions under which kin selection theory first emerged, but also the organicist tradition against which it rebelled. In similar fashion, one must not only examine Wilson’s long career, but also those thinkers who influenced him most, especially his intellectual grandfather, William Morton Wheeler (1865–1937). Drawing inspiration (and sometimes ideas) from his intellectual forebears, Wilson is confident that he has finally identified the origin of the social impulse. 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 Blog

    Big Oil: Emulating the Tobacco Industry

    By Sophia Ewens | December 10, 2014

    When we see a stray can in our private gardens we do not hesitate to pick it up. It is considered common sense to prevent our children from playing in a lawn drenched in pesticides. Yet, because Earth is so unfathomably large, most of us quickly treat pollution and environmental degradation as if they are someone else’s problems rather than our own. But the Earth is ours. It is our only home and the provider of everything we need to survive. It is therefore essential that we translate the compassion we feel towards our private homes into a sense of concern on the grander scale. Read more ...

  • Featured Blog

    Technology – Do we control it or does it control us?

    By Dinesh Majeti | December 3, 2014

    The rate at which science is progressing is really breathtaking. About 50 years ago, one could imagine of what we have achieved today. Earlier, computers were the size of many rooms. With the intervention of mobile technology, we are able to produce computers that can fit into our pockets. We can know what’s happening all around the world at our fingertips. With Google glass, get the ability to carry a computer in our glasses instead of having to carry one in our hand. You can just say, ‘Ok Google’ and Google will do everything for you at your command. Read more ...

Featured Course

Ethics in Science (Fall 2015)

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.

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