Engaging STEM Ethics Education

  • Kelly Ann Joyce Drexel University
  • Kendall Darfler Drexel University
  • Dalton George Drexel University
  • Jason Ludwig Drexel University
  • Kristene Unsworth Stockton University
Keywords: big data, ethics, algorithms


The automation of knowledge via algorithms, code and big data has brought new ethical concerns that computer scientists and engineers are not yet trained to identify or mediate. We present our experience of using original research to develop scenarios to explore how STS scholars can produce materials that facilitate ethics education in computer science, data science, and software engineering. STS scholars are uniquely trained to investigate the societal context of science and technology as well as the meaning STEM researchers attach to their day-to-day work practices. In this project, we use a collaborative, co-constitutive method of doing ethics education that focuses on building an ethical framework based on empirical practices, highlighting two issues in particular: data validity and the relations between data and inequalities. Through data-grounded scenario writing, we demonstrate how STS scholars and other social scientists can apply their expertise to the production of educational materials to spark broad ranging discussions that explore the connections between values, ethics, STEM, politics, and social contexts.

Author Biography

Kelly Ann Joyce, Drexel University

Professor, Sociology Department

Director, Center for Science, Technology & Society

01 Mar 2018
Critical Engagements