In this topic we would like to invite high school students to submit the projects that would explore the ethical and social implications of the growth of science and technology. To do such a project, you will need to select an area of science and technology that you would like to address and describe ethical and/or social issues that arise from the use of a particular scientific discovery or technology (artificial intelligence for example). If you can, please discuss possible solutions that you think might work to mitigate the ethical or/and social issues arising from the use of the technology (introducing certain regulations by the government, etc.)
Ethics is a set of morals that delineates what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Doctors, engineers, and lawyers, for example, all have a formalized system of ethical practice. The Hippocratic Oath, states that doctors "do no harm" to their patients. Engineers ethical guide that states that they "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public." Lawyers, as members of a state Bar Association, must abide by a set of ethical standards. Should one of these professionals breach their respective code of ethics they may be punished within their profession (loss of license) or by the law as well.
The philosopher Karl Popper suggested that there be a Hippocratic Oath for scientists during a 1968 speech. Physicist and activist Joseph Rotblat, in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, also called for a code of ethics for scientists. From atomic power, to genetics, to privacy, ethics plays a growing role in science and technology.
Below are links that provide examples of the debate on the issues of the use of science in technology. You may want to log in into your high school’s library databases in order to access some of these links.
Links to articles that discuss ethical and social issues in science and technology:
“6 Tech Leaders on What They Fear the Most”, Time Magazine, January 17, 2019
“Tech’s Ethical ‘Dark Side’ Harvard, Stanford and Others Want to Address It”, New York Times, February 12, 2018
“Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome” , New York Times, March 20, 2015
“Opinion: A Pause to Weight Risks of Gene Editing”, New York Times, December 18. 2015
Simon Rogerson, “Computing Ethics: Ethics of Omission Increases Gases Emission”, Communications of the ACM, March 2018, Vol. 61:3, pp. 30-32.
Vinton G. Cerf, “Unintended Consequences”, Communications of the ACM, March 2018, Vol. 61:3, p. 7-9
Oren Etzioni, “Should AI Technology be Regulated? Yes and Here’s How”, Communications of the ACM, December 2018, Vol. 61:12, pp. 30-32.
Andrea O’Sullivan and Adam Thierer, “Regulators Should Allow the Greatest Space for AI Innovation”, Communications of the ACM, December 2018, Vol. 61:12, pp 33-35.
Social Implications of the use of the Artificial Intelligence technology:
Barbara J. Grosz and Peter Stone, “A Century-Long Commitment to Assessing Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Society”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 61:12, pp. 68-73.