About International Dimensions of Ethics Education in Science and Engineering

Scientists and engineers face two types of ethics challenges, one focused on their conduct as professionals and the other focused on responsible participation in debates about public regulation of research or application of knowledge. Graduate students in science and engineering increasingly need to learn how international consensus on ethical concerns is forged; how persistent differences in national preferences are handled; and how national governments coordinate regulatory responses to transnational challenges. STS researchers are developing materials to better integrate globalization and international dimensions of science and engineering into educational practice.

IDEESE: Modules

IDEESE is developing, piloting, evaluating, refining, automating and disseminate a set of nine robust education modules designed to advance teaching of the international dimensions of ethics in science and engineering.

These educational materials are organized along two tracks: (Track 1) the impact of globalization on the work practices of scientists and engineers in their various work sites and (Track 2) the impact of international-level regulatory processes on national regulations concerning scientific and engineering knowledge and applications. The first affects the ethics of professional conduct while the second addresses ethical participation in the regulatory process.

Each module provides an overview of the topic and is therefore designed for use during ONE class session. If you are interested in exploring these topics in more depth, please refer to the "additional readings" sections in each module and associated case studies.

Although modules are separable, may be used in any order, and are suitable for individual use, IDEESE proposes the following sequence of modules for faculty looking to teach more than one module in their courses.

Module Sequence


IDEESE is developing a series of case studies that may be used in conjunction with their modules. The cases are directed specifically at graduate science and engineering students and, with the IDEESE modules, work to address the international dimensions of ethics that these students may face in their careers. Each case study package includes a series of appendices that allow instructors to pair different appendices with different modules and effectively tailor their course sessions to their particular students or to address relevant or appropriate topics for their individual classes.