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Integrating ethics into technical courses: Micro-insertion

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Perhaps the most common reason science and engineering faculty give for not including “ethics” (that is, research ethics, engineering ethics, or some discussion of professional responsibility) in their technical classes is that “there is no room”. This article 1) describes a technique (“micro-insertion”) that introduces ethics (and related topics) into technical courses in small enough units not to push out technical material, 2) explains where this technique might fit into the larger undertaking of integrating ethics into the technical (scientific or engineering) curriculum, and 3) concludes with some quantified evidence (collected over more than a decade) suggesting success. Integrating ethics into science and engineering courses is largely a matter of providing context for what is already being taught, context that also makes the material already being taught seem “more relevant”.

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Correspondence to Michael Davis.

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Davis, M. Integrating ethics into technical courses: Micro-insertion. SCI ENG ETHICS 12, 717–730 (2006).

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