2017 Ethics in Engineering A

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Humanities and social science courses
Fudano Jun 
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Course description and aims

One of the goals of this course is to cultivate the attitude to share the values which should be hold paramount by the scientists and engineers, through the understanding of the effects and impacts of science and technology on human society and on the natural environment. The second goal is to learn a practical method (the Seven-Step Guide) for ethical decision making by examining various cases which the future scientists and engineers might face with in their practice. In this course, the concept of "Aspirational Ethics" is emphasized in addition to that of "Preventive Ethics," which is the traditional approach of science and engineering ethics education. It is also presented that "ethical" scientists and engineers can contribute to the well-being of the public as well as maintain and raise their own well-being.

Student learning outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to
1) understand the positive and negative impacts of science and engineering on human society and on the natural environment
2) understand the importance of aspirational ethics in addition to that of preventive ethics
3) use a tool for ethical decision making
4) understand one's own character strengths
5) understand the elements of well-being and recognize that contributing to something larger than yourself can raise your own well-being
6) understand the values which scientists and engineers should hold paramount and develop an attitude to share those values


Science, Technology and Society, Scientists, Engineers, Ethics, Seven-Step-Guide for Ethical Decision Making, Preventive Ethics, Aspirational Ethics、Well-being、Positive Psychology

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course is designed with the active-learning approach. Therefore, in addition to the acquisition and understanding information on science and engineering through lectures, students are expected to participate actively in writing reports, presenting them, and working as a group. It is essentially important for students to attend all the classes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Guidance, Introduction to science and engineering ethics, information on assignments After the class, 1) to answer the course questionnaire, and 2) to take the VIA survey on the VIA Institute site and understand the character strengths. https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register
Class 2 Historical and multi-facet examination of the impacts of science and engineering on human society and the natural environment, group discussion on the character strengths and on ethical issues in science and engineering After the class, students are expected to summarize the results of group discussion and submit a report before the third class.
Class 3 Introduction and examination of a few cases which can be described as "Good Work" in science and technology After class, students are expected to find a concrete case of good work in their specialized fields and write a paper. The paper should be submitted before the fifth class
Class 4 Introduction to the seven-step guide. case analysis using the seven step guide After class, write a paper on the results of case analysis
Class 5 Group discussion and presentations on "Good Work" and case analysise After class, read carefully the Code of Conduct for Scientists of the Science Counsel, Japan and also that of the learned society of one's own major fields.
Class 6 Examination of the Code of Conduct for Scientists After class, examine the 14 items in the Grand Challenges for Engineering and think in which area one would like to contribute.
Class 7 Presentation on the Grand Challenges for Engineering, Discussion on the idea of "science in society, science for society" After class, write a short paper on the idea of "science in society, science for society"
Class 8 Reflections on the course


Jun Fudano, Atarasiijidai no gijyutusyarinnri (Engineering Ethics in a New Era) (in Japanese), Open University of Japan Press, 2015

Reference books, course materials, etc.

To be introduced and explained in the first class of the course

Assessment criteria and methods

1) Class participation (attendance, group discussion, presentation) 30%
2) Small assignments (questionnaire, VIA, case analysis etc.) 30%
3)Reports 30%
4) 0thers

Related courses

  • LAH.T206 : Ethics in Engineering B
  • LAH.T305 : Ethics in Engineering C

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisite

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

Monday, 7-8 Period, or by appointment

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