Embedded EthiCS featured in Harvard Gazette

January 28, 2019
embedded ethics faculty

Harvard's recently launched Embedded EthiCS program is the focus of a new article in the Harvard Gazette, which calls it "a national model" for colleges and universities.

The program is the result of a collaboration between Professor Barbara Grosz of Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Samuel H. Wolcott Professor of Philosophy Alison Simmons. As the Gazette notes, what makes the program both innovative and distinctive is the way it embeds ethics throughout the computer science curriculum rather than in a single, standalone course.

“Standalone courses can be great, but they can send the message that ethics is something that you think about after you’ve done your ‘real’ computer science work,” Simmons said. “We want to send the message that ethical reasoning is part of what you do as a computer scientist.”

Indeed, nothing about the Embedded EthiCS program stands alone. The work of many hands, the program draws for its success on the interests, talents, dedication, and work of many Teaching Fellows in the Department of Philosophy.

Ronni Gura Sadovsky served as TF in the first course to address the issue of ethics and CS directly, Barbara Grosz's CS 108: Intelligent Systems: Design and Ethical Challenges. Gura Sadovsky then helped initiate the contact between the philosophy and CS departments and later became part of the team that collaborates on module and assignment design.

You can read more about the program and those involved at the Harvard Gazette.

Note: This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

See also: Department News