Contributions sought for the Engineering Ethics Toolkit

 

The Engineering Ethics Toolkit is a new resource for engineering educators to help them integrate ethics content into their teaching. It has been produced by the UK’s Engineering Professors’ Council (EPC) for the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) as part of the profession’s ongoing work to embed ethical practice into the culture of engineering. 3 guidance articles and 12 case studies designed for classroom use have been developed in a first phase of work. Explore these resources on both the EPC and the RAEng websites.

 

The Engineering Ethics Toolkit Advisory Group seeks contributors to add to and develop these resources who can:

 

Write additional guidance articles

The Ethics Toolkit Advisory group seeks contributors to write guidance articles on various topics related to engineering ethics education, shown below. These articles are meant to be overviews that a reader with no prior knowledge could refer to in order to develop a baseline understanding and learn where to look for additional information. They should be approximately 500-1000 words and reference relevant resources, especially existing resources in the Ethics Toolkit. They may be written by a single author or by a team of authors. Single authors may be paired with other authors who have volunteered to write on the same topic. See the existing guidance articles for examples of style, tone, and approach. Use Harvard referencing. 

You may propose a topic to write about, but the Ethics Advisory Group will prioritise contributions of articles on the following topics:

  1. What is Ethics?
  2. Why Integrate Ethics in Engineering?
  3. How to Integrate Ethics into a Module/Course?
  4. Tackling Tough Topics in Discussion OR How to Lead a Discussion
  5. How Ethics Links to Other Competencies and Skills
  6. Getting Comfortable with Open-Ended Problems/Questions Related to Ethics
  7. Learning Taxonomies and Ethics Education

Unless otherwise stated, to ensure that everyone can use and adapt the Toolkit resources in a way that best fits their teaching or purpose, this work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Under this licence users are free to share and adapt this material, under terms that they must give appropriate credit and attribution to the original material and indicate if any changes are made.

Create case enhancements that develop teaching materials for activities suggested in the case studies

Case enhancements are teaching materials and resources that help educators to employ the ethics case studies and lead the activities referenced within them. Enhancements provide crucial guidance for those who may be teaching ethics-related material for the first time, or who are looking for new and different ways to integrate ethics into their teaching. They may take the form of discussion prompts, debate or role play scripts, technical content related to the ethical dilemma, worksheets, slides, or other similar materials. Enhancements may be written by a single author or by a team of authors. Single authors may be paired with other authors who have volunteered to contribute to the same case.

The Ethics Advisory Group seeks at least one case enhancement per published case study, outlined below. You may propose additional or different enhancements according to your background and expertise. You may want to familiarise yourself with the relevant cases in order to determine where you can best contribute. 

  1. Business Growth Models. Enhancement desired: Activity: In a group, split into two sides with one side defending a profit-driven business and the other defending a non-profit driven business. 
  2. Facial Recognition. Enhancement desired: Prompts to facilitate discussion activities.
  3. Choosing a Career in Climate Change Geoengineering. Enhancement desired: Activity: map the arguments of the three professors. Whose perspective might be the most persuasive and why?
  4. Glass Safety. Enhancement desired: Activity: Debate whether or not the engineer has an ethical or professional responsibility to warn relevant parties.
  5. Internet Constellation. Enhancement desired: Activity: Anatomy of an internet satellite – use the Anatomy of an AI case study as an example of a tether map, showing the inputs and outputs of a device. Create a tether map showing the anatomy of an internet satellite.
  6. Industrial Pollution from an Aging Pipeline. Enhancement desired: Generate scripts for discussion prompts.
  7. Power to Food. Enhancement desired: Create a sample group project specification for developing an ethical assessment of the following activity with suggested marking/evaluation criteria. Activity: Identify different aspects of the production process where ethical concerns may arise, from production to delivery to consumption. Which ethical issues do you consider to be the most challenging to address?
  8. School Chatbot. Enhancement desired: Activity: Undertake stakeholder mapping to elicit value assumptions and motivations.
  9. Water Wars. Enhancement desired: Work up a script for the following activity. Activity: Role-play the council meeting, with students playing different characters representing different perspectives.
  10. Smart Homes for Older People. Enhancement desired: Create a sample data set for technical analysis.
  11. Installing a Smart Meter. Enhancement desired: Generate typical smart meter data so that students can analyse it.
  12. Solar for Oil. Enhancement desired: Produce example calculations in chemical and/or electrical engineering related to carbon offset and solar installations.

Unless otherwise stated, to ensure that everyone can use and adapt the Toolkit resources in a way that best fits their teaching or purpose, this work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Under this licence users are free to share and adapt this material, under terms that they must give appropriate credit and attribution to the original material and indicate if any changes are made.

Develop and write new case studies

The Ethics Toolkit Advisory group seeks contributors to write new case studies on various topics related to engineering ethics. These case studies should be written in a similar format and style to the existing case studies in the Toolkit. The audience for these case studies is educators seeking to embed ethics within their engineering teaching. They may be written by a single author or jointly by a team of authors. Single authors may be paired with other authors who have volunteered to write on the same topic. Authors are encouraged to speak to the project manager for consultation and guidance during the writing process.

Case studies on any topics related to engineering ethics are welcome. Ideas for new cases have been suggested to the Advisory Group; you may select or adapt one of these shown below, or choose your own.

  1. Design / disposal of medical waste such as home Covid tests or masks, pill packaging, etc;
  2. Genetically engineering mosquitoes or other animals to reduce or eliminate their reproduction;
  3. Design / implantation of devices that control human health or biology, such as sleep/wake cycles, etc. (or another transhumanist topic);
  4. Balancing human safety in public spaces at night with dark sky or animal health initiatives;
  5. Transport issues (infrastructure, access, safety, etc.);
  6. Sustainable materials in construction (homegrown timber, supply chain, etc.)
  7. Materials sourcing and circularity;
  8. Artisanal or deep-sea mining and the connection to indigenous rights;
  9. Dealing with contracts or subcontracts with potential slave or forced labour;
  10. Creation and deployment of emotion detection systems;
  11. Issues related to competitive tendering or overseas procurement;
  12. Equity and impact of flood or erosion mitigation solutions;
  13. Responsibility for micro- and nano-plastics in the environment and human bodies.

Unless otherwise stated, to ensure that everyone can use and adapt the Toolkit resources in a way that best fits their teaching or purpose, this work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Under this licence users are free to share and adapt this material, under terms that they must give appropriate credit and attribution to the original material and indicate if any changes are made.

In undertaking this work, contributors will become part of the growing community of educators who are helping to ensure that tomorrow’s engineering professionals have the grounding in ethics that they need to provide a just and sustainable future for us all. Contributors will be fully credited for their work on any relevant Toolkit materials, and will be acknowledged as authors should the resources be published in any form. Developing these resources will provide the chance to work with a dynamic, diverse and passionate group of people leading the way in expanding engineering ethics teaching resources, and may help in professional development, such as preparing for promotion or fellowship. If contributors are not compensated by their employers for time spent on this type of activity, a small honorarium is available to encourage participation. After a revision process these will be published as part of the Toolkit online.

If you are interested in contributing to our Engineering Ethics Toolkit, fill out this form by the 12th September and we will be in touch with additional details. **This call has now closed – however if you would like to contribute a case study, case enhancement or article to our toolkit in the future then please still fill out this form and we will be in touch when we can.**

 

Prof. Raffaella Ocone, Chair (r.ocone@hw.ac.uk)

Prof. Sarah Jayne Hitt, Project Manager (sarah.hitt@nmite.ac.uk)

Engineering Ethics Toolkit Advisory Group Members:

  • Dawn Bonfield MBE, Aston University
  • Prof. Mike Bramhall, TEDI-London
  • Claire Donovan, RAEng
  • Prof. Jarka Glassey, Newcastle University
  • Dr Sarah Junaid, Aston University
  • Prof. Thomas Lennerfors, Uppsala University
  • Dr Darian Meacham, UWE Bristol
  • Prof. Chike F. Oduoza, University of Wolverhampton
  • Ahmet Omurtag, Nottingham Trent University
  • Dr Goudarz Poursharif, Aston University
  • Johnny Rich, EPC
  • Dr Matthew Studley, UWE Bristol
  • Prof. Mike Sutcliffe, EPC
  • Jonathan Truslove, Engineers Without Borders UK
  • Dr Nik Whitehead, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
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