About the Course

What happens when computing moves into new spaces of engineering, science, and medicine?

In this course, students will engage with ethical questions at the intersection of computing and biotechnology as a launching pad to consider additional ethical dilemmas in other areas of engineering and propose solutions to them. This course will be grounded in an overview of the philosophy of technology and tech ethics. The focus will then shift to contemporary ethical challenges within biotech work, including big data, computational biology, and artificial intelligence. Finally, we will look toward the future and examine how technology may support a future worth wanting. The course will ask big questions such as: how does technology shape the way we see ourselves and others? Students will be equipped to reflect seriously on these topics by reading contemporary think pieces, academic journal articles, short fiction, and political theory. This course will prepare students to engage with the practical and intellectual challenges of an ethically engaged tech career. This signature course is part of the Ethics at Work Project and is a Writing-intensive (WRIT) Core Curriculum Course

Upon successful completion students should be able to: 

  • Develop an understanding of how technology influences the way we think about the world
    • Discover the leading philosophical technomoral frameworks and how they might be promoted through the development of technology.
    • Examine how technology shapes our imagination, thought processes, and understanding of ourselves and others.
    • Take a critical look at how computing technology is moving into new areas, simultaneously bridging and widening divides, both in products and workplaces.
    • Analyze how (bio)technology shapes the world and the associated societal outcomes.