Rapaport Everyday Ethics Grant Application
Request for Grant Proposals
The Michael S. Rapaport
Everyday Ethics Across the Curriculum Initiative
About the Initiative:
No one can successfully navigate everyday life without understanding everyday ethics. Unlike ethical theory (philosophical reflections on such questions as what makes right acts right), everyday ethics is about integrity and cheating, honesty and dishonesty, justice and injustice. The point of this Initiative is to sophisticate out students’ understanding of everyday ethics by introducing ethics segments into disciplinary courses that deal with substantive issues other than ethics: courses in anthropology, chemistry, engineering, literature, and so forth.
Support for Faculty Already Integrating Everyday Ethics Segments into Courses:
Faculty who have already integrated ethics segments (10% of a course) into disciplinary courses that are not designated as “ethics courses” may apply for a Rapaport grant to support:
- Co-curricular activities, e.g. debates, films, speakers
- Attending conferences and workshops related to ethics segments
- Obtaining curricular materials (e.g. DVD’s, books) related to ethics segments
- Disseminating information about a course segment, or about the Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum Initiative, through publications or presentations at conferences, meetings, and workshops.
Support for Faculty Integrating New Everyday Ethics Segments into Courses:
Faculty planning to integrate everyday ethics segments (10% or more of the course) on an ongoing basis (every time the class is taught) into a continuing disciplinary course that is not designated as an “ethics course” may apply for a Rapaport grant to support:
- $1250 Course development Honorarium: $1000 payable upon approval of grant proposal, the remainder payable after the course has been taught.
- Co-curricular activities, e.g. debates, films, speakers.
- Attending conferences and workshops related to ethics segments.
- Disseminating information about a course segment, or about the Rapaport Everyday Ethics Across the Curriculum Initiative, through publications or presentations at conferences, meetings or workshops.
Examples of Possible Everyday Ethics Course Segments:
The following examples are appropriate for most regular disciplinary courses:
A segment on scholarly or professional integrity or the ethics of research and/or a discussion of a field’s code of ethics included in courses on methodology or research methods. Almost all applied fields, including engineering, law, and various healthcare professions, subscribe to codes of ethics. Codes are also common in the physical sciences (biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, meteorology, nuclear science, physics) and the social sciences (anthropology, archeology, history, political science, sociology). Subject might include professional, scholarly, and scientific integrity and fraud; film and literary evocations of professional, scholarly, and researcher integrity; the ethics of using animals or humans as research subjects, the ethics of interviewing, etc.
A segment on intellectual property, “stealing ideas and innovations.” Everyone can discuss the ethics of buying a term paper on the Internet, pirating software and/or illegal iPod downloads. Art historians can discuss fakery and forgery (art fraud from Christie’s and Sotheby’s to e-bay, to Han van Meegeren and his fake Vermeers). A related issue is “theft” of cultural property, the ethics of Indiana Jones and tomb raiding – or, more seriously, ownership of the Parthenon friezes.
The literary and artistic treatment of ethics in any course on literature or art history: e.g. why do we turn bad guys and gals into heroes and heroines? Why transform bank robbers and murderers into celebrities? (Viz. In Cold Blood.)
Whistle-blowing and cheating: subjects could range from whistleblowers and scientific integrity, to Holocaust deniers, to insider trading and Enron, to the use of steroids in sports, to plagiarism and cheating on examinations.
Assistance in Developing an Everyday Ethics Segment:
Bob Baker is available to discuss ideas for everyday ethics segments, potential speakers and possible co-curricular activities – and, of course, to help faculty prepare applications for Rapaport grants. He can also assist faculty in developing instructional materials and resources, recruiting speakers, and so forth. Please feel free to contact him if you are thinking about developing an ethics segment or co-curricular ethics activities.
Applying for a Rapaport Everyday Ethics Across the Curriculum Grant:
Applications are assessed on a rolling basis by the grant steering committee: Bob Baker, Philosophy; Jeff Corbin, Biology/Environmental Science; Hal Fried, Economics; Claire Bracken, English; and John Spinelli, Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The Rapaport Everyday Ethics Initiative is housed in the Bioethics Center in Lamont House 103. Phone and e-mail: Bob Baker x 6215, firstname.lastname@example.org.