The Rock Ethics Institute

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The Rock Ethics Institute provides a variety of resources, tools, and support for faculty members in science and engineering disciplines to engage students into inquiries of the ethical issues in technoscientific research and development.

We approach science and engineering ethics from a broad perspective based upon the Ethical Dimensions of Scientific Research (EDSR), a framework resulted from a Rock research initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. The EDSR framework examines ethical questions arising from research through multiple lens:

  • The lens of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) introduces the traditional norms and principles widely agreed upon in the research community regarding ethical research practice, such as documentation of data, authorship, project of human subjects. 
  • The lens of Broad Impacts examines the broad cultural, economic, and environmental impacts of research on society as well as how social factors shape research practices and technoscientific communities;  
  • The lens of Embedded Ethics reveals the ethical and value choices that usually lie behind seemingly neutral research decisions, such as choice of research methods, inclusion of research samples, and handling of uncertainty.