With an initial grant of US$1.5 million from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Duquesne University has recently set up an ethics centre to facilitate a better understanding of the implications of advances in science and technology and how they impact societies.
Duquesne University President Ken Gormley points out that despite the proliferation of robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics, “the understanding of how these may affect society is not being pursued at the same rapid pace.”
The university is attempting to bridge this growing gap. The new interdisciplinary centre will hold conferences and conduct sponsored researches on ethical issues revolving around science, technology and law.
The Carl G Grefenstette Centre for Ethics in Science, Technology and Law is housed at Duquesne’s Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. It is named after a 1950 graduate of Duquesne’s business school who served as a member of the university’s Board of Directors for almost two decades, from 1979 to 1998.
Carl G Grefenstette worked for more than 30 years with The Hillman Company and became the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 1971 until his retirement last year.
The centre will build on Duquesne University’s long-time academic focus in ethics and its historic commitment to human interaction and community. It will draw on the expertise and resources of the university’s nine schools to conduct sponsored research and organise conferences, symposia and other scholarly endeavours. These schools are as follows:
- A.J. Palumbo School of Business Administration and John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business
- School of Education
- Rangos School of Health Sciences
- McAnulty College of Liberal Arts and theGraduate School of Liberal Arts
- Mary Pappert School of Music
- Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
- School of Nursing
- School of Pharmacy and the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
As part of its future development, the Carl G Grefenstette Centre for Ethics in Science, Technology and Law is looking at eventually awarding microcredentials, certificates and graduate degree programs.