While ethics education is a broad domain, the focus here is on its role in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. Accelerating rates of innovation in STEM fields, combined with the potential for significant societal implications from innovation, creates emerging ethical issues. High-profile examples include developments in assisted reproduction, synthetic biology, robotics, and information technology. As such, there is a need to equip STEM students with the education and tools that will enable them to fulfill their ethical obligations.
A key focus in STEM ethics education is the development of appropriate pedagogical approaches and the assessment of those approaches. This could include, for example, assessing the comparative efficacy of requiring a single ethics course, requiring multiple ethics courses, and integrating ethics content across the curriculum. Further, it could involve examining the relevant merits of problem-based learning (PBL) or the use of case studies. Several assessment tools have been developed by several Georgia Tech faculty members to assess the efficacy of different educational methods. These include: the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT), the Test of Ethical Sensitivity in Science and Engineering (TESSE), and SkillSET.