Arts and Humanities

Practical Ethics in Data Science

In collaboration with the UC San Diego Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, the Institute for Practical Ethics will examine the ethical issues emerging from big data and related scientific tools.

UC San Diego is one of the world's greatest producers of technology, medical innovations and scientific knowledge. These developments can offer great benefits to humanity, but they often raise urgent ethical questions. The aim of the Institute for Practical Ethics is to help close the gap between the pace of innovation and our ability to deal with these questions responsibly.

Hosted in the Division of Arts and Humanities, the mission of the Institute for Practical Ethics is to develop and promote cross-disciplinary research on ethical issues facing the public, with special emphasis on fostering deliberation amongst ethicists, scientists and policy makers.

In collaboration with the UC San Diego Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, one of the first topics the institute will address will be the ethical and social implications of gene-drive technologies. A second topic will be to look at the ethical issues emerging from “big data” and related scientific tools.

The Institute for Practical Ethics is based on a holistic vision, one that is focused on the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of ethical problems, founded on a partnership among social scientists, natural scientists and humanists, and attentive to both social and individual-level problems. Craig Callender of the Department of Philosophy and John Evans of the Department of Sociology serve as co-directors.