Next talks in our Technology, Policy & Ethics Lecture Series:

This lecture series is on haitus, while Dr. Patrick Lin is on sabbatical in the 2013-2014 academic year at Stanford University. Stay tuned for more!


Previous talks:

8 February 2013
Food, Technology, and Ethics
Paul B. Thompson (Michigan State University's W. K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics) will give a special lecture on food, technology, and ethics. He will discuss three key problems in food ethics, which are connected in surprising and sometimes incompatible ways. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Feb 8 from 1:00-3:00p at Agricultural Engineering's main lecture hall (Building 08, Room 123). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

23 May 2012
Robots, Privacy & Society
Ryan Calo, director of privacy and robotics research at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, will talk about the challenge that robots (especially those with surveillance and recording capabilities) pose to privacy. He will also discuss legal and design solutions to this issue, which may help robotics realize its transformative potential in society. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, May 23 from 10:00a-12:00p at University Union's Chumash Auditorium (Building 65, Room 205: center stage). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release or here for the video.

13 May 2011
Ethics of Facebook
Prof. Anthony Beavers returns to discuss Facebook, since the social network has evolved much in the last two years. Given the site's growing social and political power, Dr. Beavers will explore what the company intends to, or can, do with it. From the user’s perspective, Facebook is just a site for connecting with friends, “friends”, and family. But what else is going on, particularly with respect to our values? The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, May 13, from 1:00-2:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

4 March 2011
Ethics of Robots and Sex
Dr. John Sullins, ethics professor at Sonoma State Univ., will talk about the possibility of sex-robots and the clever ways engineers are manipulating human emotions, such as our tendency to anthropomorphize objects. Are there moral limits to exploiting human psychology, and is there more to love than satisfying physical desires? This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, March 4, from 2:00-3:30p at Fisher Science Hall (Building 33, Room 286). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

4 February 2011
New Military Technologies and the Resort of War
US Naval Academy professor George R. Lucas, Jr. will talk about a pressing concern with novel military technologies—that robotics, cyberweapons, and so on are making war easier to engage in, rather than saving it as a last resort. But how exactly should we understand the "principle of last resort"? This will determine how high (or low) we set the threshold for when we're morally allowed to wage war. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, February 4, from 2:00-3:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

12 March 2010
Ethics of Neuroscience
Stanford law professor Hank Greely will talk about the emerging field of neuroscience and six key areas in which it will challenge society: prediction, mind-reading, responsibility, consciousness, treatment, and enhancement. He is also co-director of the Law & Neuroscience Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and director of Stanford's Center for Law and the Biosciences. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, March 12, from 2:00-3:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

4 May 2009
Ethics of Facebook
Dr. Anthony Beavers, philosophy professor at University of Evansville and currently a visiting scholar at Indiana University's cognitive science program, will discuss some ethical issues related to Facebook, beyond the usual concerns of privacy, employer scrutiny, and so on. These new issues include: whether Facebook redefines friendship in helpful or harmful ways; how its news feed influences which relationships will develop or not; and more. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Monday, May 4, 2009, from 2-3:30p in (Graphic Arts) Building 26, Room 103. Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

10 April 2009
Ethics of Cyberweapons

Dr. Neil Rowe, professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, will explain why using cyberweapons might result in war crimes and how we might modify cyberweapons to avoid these ethical landmines. He will also discuss how we might prosecute and punish cyberwar crimes, which include forensics, interventions, cyberblockades, revelation of secrets, and reparations. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, April 10, from 11-12:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

6 February 2009
NSF & the New Research Ethics Requirement
We are launching our Technology & Ethics Lecture Series with a highly relevant and practical talk about a new research-ethics training requirement mandated by the America COMPETES Act. This requirement affects all researchers seeking funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Tom Powers of the University of Delaware will speak about his work and the challenges in formulating and complying with such policy. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Feb. 6, from 12-1p at Fisher Science Building 33, Room 286. For more details, please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.

For Speakers

If you will be in the San Luis Obispo area and are interested in giving a talk at Cal Poly, please contact:

Patrick Lin, Ph.D., Director
palin [at] calpoly.edu

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