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.

Upcoming Seminar

The Nature of Pride: The Emotional Origins of Social Rank

Professor Jessica L. Tracy

Jan 23 2017
11:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
232 Philip G. Hoffman Hall

Why do people respond to their most impressive and apparent successes by engaging in verbal and nonverbal displays of self-celebration, superiority, and even arrogance? In this talk, I will argue that humans have an evolved tendency to respond to success by displaying pride, a distinct and universally recognized emotion expression. This expression may have evolved to serve a fundamental social function: communicating to others an individual’s deservedness of high status or social rank. As I will show, the pride expression is a powerful status signal, sending a message that is distinct from other emotions, implicitly perceived, and strong enough to counteract contradictory contextual information in shaping status-based decision-making. Furthermore, findings from a separate line of research on the psychological structure of pride support this account. Individuals subjectively experience and think about pride in two distinct ways, consistent with a theoretical distinction between a confident and effort-based “authentic” pride, and a more grandiose and self-aggrandizing “hubristic” pride. These findings explain how the experience of pride may serve a complementary function to its expression. Specifically, each form of pride is linked to a distinct rank-attainment strategy (i.e., “dominance” vs. “prestige”), suggesting that each motivates a divergent set of behaviors needed to attain each of these two forms of rank. Overall, this research suggests that pride is a complex and multifaceted social emotion that is closely linked to self-esteem, narcissism, achievement, and status, and may be an evolved part of human nature. 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 ...