At the Center
Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 1:01 PM
Starting this month, Bay Area startup Yiftee is promoting a dialogue about some of the tough ethical dilemmas facing undergraduates. The company will offer Yiftees—gifts redeemable at local merchants—for the first 20 students who comment on The Big Q, a biweekly, online conversation about ethical issues, sponsored by the Ethics Center.
Yiftee co-founder Lori Laub, explains, “Yiftee is the easy and instant way to send thoughtful gifts at local shops and restaurants. We think ethics are so important we want to encourage more students to participate in this leading edge program and are proud to sponsor it. With Yiftee gifts we can provide a fun incentive for the students and support local businesses in one fell swoop.”
If you think it’s easy being a college student, consider a few of the ethical issues the average undergraduate is confronting today:
- Is the nonprescription use of cognitive enhancements such as Adderall the same as carrying a cheat sheet into a test?
- Is it cyberstalking to monitor your “ex” on Facebook?
- Should you pledge a fraternity that hazes its members?
The Big Q, which launched in 2011, has had more than 200,000 pageviews, and comments from students from around the country, from Santa Clara to Columbia, from Berkeley to Maine College of the Arts. Ethics Center Assistant Director Miriam Schulman described the idea behind The Big Q and the partnership with Yiftee: “We asked ourselves, how can we get students to reflect on the very real ethical quandaries we know they face? Why not go where students are already engaged in conversation—the Internet?”
The Big Q includes a blog, Facebook , Twitter , and YouTube playlist. “Since we’re an online project, Yiftee gifts, which are sent by smartphone or Web, seemed like a natural incentive for our participants,” Schulman said. “We’re so grateful to Yiftee for sponsoring this important conversation.”
Yiftee gifts are the new way to acknowledge life’s special moments, in two minutes or less. Giftees instantly receive their Yiftee digital MasterCard vouchers on Facebook, email or text and stop by a local merchant to pick up their gift. Yiftee is social, local and mobile and a WIN-WIN-WIN for the business, gift giver and gift recipient. Available at www.yiftee.com and via free iPhone and Android app.
Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 5:12 PM
Join us on Wednesday, January 29th, for our first Conscience Project speaker for the winter session. “A Struggle for Peace and Justice: A Story of Conscience and Its Consequences,” features guest speaker Roy Bourgeois, laicized Catholic Priest, and Founder, School of the Americas Watch. Bourgeois has been a prominent voice of conscience within Catholicism for decades. He was profoundly affected by the Vietnam War. In 1972, he was ordained a Maryknoll priest. He then worked among the poor of Bolivia until he was kicked out of the country by its-then dictator. Bourgeois was instrumental in founding the School of Americas Watch, an organization dedicated to shutting down the United States Army's School of the Americas because of the school's alleged training in techniques of repression of many officers of foreign military services. In 2012, he was dismissed by the Vatican from the Maryknoll order because of his support for the ordination of women as priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 1:01 PM
“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” - Aristotle
Join us this Saturday, January 11th, for this day-long dynamic conference presented by the Santa Clara University Philosophy Department, in association with The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. The theme is: "21st Century Virtue: Cultivating Character with New Technologies." Distinguished speakers include: Charles Ess, University of Oslo; Judith Simon, University of Vienna and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; John Sullins- Sonoma State University; and Evan Selinger, Rochester Institute of Technology. A wide range of topics will be featured, including:
- Cultivating Selfhood and Democracy in a Mediated Age: Plato, McLuhan, and the
Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns
- Trustworthiness and Responsibility: Socio-Epistemic Virtues in a Digital Age
- Humanity Out of the Loop: Autonomous Warfare and the Diminishing
- The Ethical Implications of Detonating a Digital Etiquette Bomb
Registration includes lunch and coffee. $25 Students $10. SCU Students, Faculty and Staff: Free
EVENT FLYER (PDF):
VIDEO: Digital Age Etiquette: Evan Selinger at TEDxFlourCity
(Keynoter Evan Selinger presents a 7-minute video on some surprising and yet basic rules of online etiquette)
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 4:43 PM
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 10:27 AM
The Ethics Center is proud to launch Donate A Book Now - Build Character for a Lifetime, a month-long project for December 2013, in collaboration with Giving Tuesday, a national nonprofit giving program for the holiday season, with nearly 3,000 participating organizations. The Center serves thousands of children throughout the country through "Character-Based Literacy," a program which embraces literature to teach ethics. You can help children in some of the nation's poorest schools become good citizens with great character. Purchase a book, or several, and help children learn learn values while learning how to read and write. The special curriculum is also used at many court community and juvenile hall schools, allowing those with challenging circumstances to grow and learn. Fifty-five books are available for purchase, from classics such as "Of Mice and Men" and "The Pearl," to other important literary works on crucial topics such as segregation and the immigrant experience in America. Please include your name and contact information with your order so we can acknowledge your gift! (*Note: this is an in-kind gift program, and not tax-deductible.)
Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 3:03 PM
Even before they are elected, public servants face important ethical questions about the way they run their campaigns. How honest will they be in their campaign materials? How can they address an electorate that is increasingly disenchanted with government? And will campaign contributions affect the way they do business after they are elected?
Rich Robinson, expert in strategic planning, public policy development, and government relations, and founder of Robinson Communications; and Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, addressed these and other campaign ethics questions at the most recent meeting of the Public Sector Roundtable. Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics and former mayor of the city of Santa Clara, moderated the panel.
Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 1:52 PM
Kenneth Feinberg, the dispute mediator and attorney who directed the victim compesation programs after 9/11, the Boston massacre, the Sandy Hook shooting, and other disasters, talked about the importance of examining the ethical issues behind the difficult decisions he had to make at a recent talk for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Praising the Ethics Center for providing a forum for this exploration, Feinberg detailed some of the tough situations he confronted: Why, for example, did the family of someone who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 get compensated, while another family, whose loved one died at the 1993 bombing at the same location not receive anything? Should someone who was disabled in a disaster receive more or less money than the family of someone who died? How do we understand fairness when dealing with the victims of a catastrophe?
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 3:34 PM
SCU seniors Javen Kizzart and Sulaiman Shelton have been awarded 2013-14 Environmental Ethics Fellowships at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Both Kizzart and Shelton are environmental studies majors. They will work on exploring ethical issues in organic farming in conjunction with SCU's organic garden, the Forge. The Environmental Ethics Fellowship is made possible by a gift from John and Joan Casey.
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 3:10 PM
Join 750 others registered for the Ethics Center’s free, "Massive Open Online Course," Business Ethics for the Real World, offered through Canvas.net. The four-week class, which can be taken any time before June 30, provides an introduction to the ethical issues confronting businesspeople. It is appropriate for professionals, as well as undergraduate or graduate business students.
Taught by Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson, the MOOC provides an understanding of the nature of ethics, the role ethics plays in business, and the most commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in a business career. It provides practical advice on how to identify ethical dilemmas when they arise, how to get enough information to assess one’s responsibilities, how to analyze a complex ethical choice, and how to marshal one’s own resources and courage to act ethically.
While the course includes some ethical theory, it is designed to be approachable by the seasoned manager, the novice businessperson, and students in business schools. No specific background or preparation is necessary. This introductory module will be followed by more advanced MOOCs beginning in 2014.
Hanson is one of the pioneers of the business ethics field. He holds the John Courtney Murray S.J. University Professorship of Social Ethics at SCU. In 2001, he took early retirement from Stanford University where he taught in the Graduate School of Business for 23 years and is now an emeritus faculty member.
The editor of the four-volume series The Accountable Corporation, Hanson was the founding president of the Business Enterprise Trust, a national organization created by leaders in business, labor, media, and academia to promote exemplary behavior in business organizations.
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 4:47 PM
Race and gender bias in science news is the focus of a presentation by Sally Lehrman, senior fellow in journalism ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, November 13. An award-winning reporter and writer for some of the top names in national print and broadcast media, Lehrman convenes the Center's annual Executive Roundtable on Digital Journalism Ethics.