|October 4, 2010|
Union hosts 12th international conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum
Leading scholars from more than a dozen top colleges and universities will come to campus when Union hosts the 12th international conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum Thursday, Oct. 7 through Saturday, Oct. 9.
Robert Baker, chair of the Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum program and the William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy
The theme of this year’s conference is “Bioethics and Ethics Across the Curriculum: The Challenges of Teaching, Researching and Publishing across Disciplines.”
Besides Union, other schools represented include the University of Texas, Le Moyne, Hartwick, University of Nebraska and Dartmouth.
At many colleges and universities, faculty in the philosophy department typically teach students about ethics. Since 2006, Union’s approach has been to make ethics a staple of classroom discussion across the board in more than 50 courses, from physics to photography. It is modeled after a pilot project that introduced ethics into the economics curriculum.
Among the classes where students will be exposed to some ethical component this year: Economics of Sin (Economics), Ancient World Mythology (Classics) and American Literature in Historical Context: 19th Century (English).
At the conference, Robert Baker, chair of the Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum and the William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy, will give an overview of Union’s program, along with Amy Bloom, associate director. The program was featured in the Spring 2009 issue of “Teaching Ethics,” the academic journal of the Society for Ethics across the Curriculum.
Also presenting from Union are Anastasia Pease, visiting assistant professor of English (“Teaching Bioethics in Literature Courses”) and engineering professor Ashraf Ghaly (“Teaching Applied Ethics within Technological and Societal Contexts”).
For a complete schedule, click here.
The push for colleges to promote the moral and ethical development of students comes at a time when several national studies suggest colleges have not done a good job in this area.
Also, in a recent survey of more than 300 employers asking which skills colleges should emphasize, three-quarters said they want college graduates who are able to connect choice and actions to ethical decisions.
The seed for a broad-based ethics module at Union was planted by Michael S. Rapaport ’59, a real estate lawyer in White Plains, N.Y. Distressed at the lack of ethical awareness of those caught up in the Enron scandal and other ethical lapses, Rapaport decided to fund the College’s program.
Sponsors of the conference include the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum Program of Union College, and the Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine Bioethics Program.