University of Delaware
UD's Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy will hold its official inaugural event on April 30. The daylong symposium will feature several well-known experts in applied ethics and public policy.

Launching a center

Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy to hold inaugural symposium April 30


8:43 a.m., April 9, 2012--On Monday, April 30, the University of Delaware Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy (SEPP) will hold its official inaugural event, a daylong symposium featuring well-known experts in applied ethics in a variety of fields.

The free symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Clayton Hall on the UD campus in Newark. Breakfast and lunch are included in the day’s agenda, and a reception will follow at 4 p.m. 

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Like the interdisciplinary nature of the center itself, the symposium will encompass topics ranging from globalization and corporate social responsibility to robotics, the environment and public administration.

Tom Powers, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the School of Public Policy and Administration at UD and director of SEPP, notes that SEPP has grown from a fledgling program catalyzed by the Delaware EPSCoR program in 2007 to a full-fledged center today. This achievement he credits in large part to the vision of former provost Dan Rich and the support of the current dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, George Watson.

"The formation of the center represents a culmination of efforts by many UD faculty, students, and administrators over the last decade,” Powers said. “I hope it will serve UD's efforts to better understand, direct and utilize science and technology for the benefit of all."

Powers also says that the UD community and the public at large are invited to spend as much or as little time at the symposium as they wish.  “Those with a special interest in even just one of our topics are certainly welcome to come by for that part of the symposium.” 

An agenda for the day may be found at the event webpage. Participants for any part of the day are requested to RSVP at

Speakers at the inaugural symposium include the following:

Colin Allen, Provost Professor of Cognitive Science and History and Philosophy of Science and director of the Cognitive Science Program at Indiana University, who specializes in the philosophy of mind and its applications to animal behavior, and in ethical issues surrounding robotics.

Nicole Hassoun, assistant professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University and author of the forthcoming book Globalization and Global Justice: Shrinking Distance, Expanding Obligations, to be released this spring by Cambridge University Press.

Carol W. Lewis, professor emerita of political science at the University of Connecticut, where she taught ethics, public budgeting and public administration. She has designed and delivered ethics programs for numerous government agencies, public interest organizations and professional associations.

Gregg Nebel, head of social and environmental affairs for the Americas region of the adidas-Group. He also serves on the board of directors of the Fair Labor Association, the organization recently charged with investigating labor practices at Foxconn, the Chinese electronics manufacturer that assembles products for Apple, among other firms.

Nancy Tuana, DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy and director of the Rock Ethics Institute at Pennsylvania State University, who specializes in the philosophy of science and science ethics and feminist philosophy.

Article by Beth Chajes

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