UD Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy

Tom Powers, left, and Mark Greene
Tom Powers, left, and Mark Greene

This week’s episode features Tom Powers and Mark Greene from the Philosophy department discussing the University of Delaware’s Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy (SEPP), National Science Foundation (NSF) funding and ethics courses at UD–with nanotechnology and biomedical ethics. Powers is the director of SEPP; Greene is SEPP’s research director.





Listen to the interview

Tom Powers and Mark Greene (10/18/12)
27.8 MB

About our guests

Tom Powers, Philosophy, is the director of UD’s Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy (SEPP). His colleague Mark Greene, Philosophy, is SEPP research director. They both have backgrounds that embody a philosophical and ethical approach to science and technology. Powers has published research in areas as diverse as Kantian ethics, responsibility in software engineering, and “ethical machines.” Greene started his professional career as a veterinarian, but was drawn to philosophy and ethics. Many of the classes he teaches at UD combine those points of professional interest: Ethical Issues in Healthcare, Genetics and Responsibility, and Medical Ethics. Together, Powers and Greene are uniquely qualified to lead the Center.

SEPP’s purpose is to integrate ethics and public policy inquiry with scientific research, the university curricula, private sector innovation, and government policy making. SEPP endeavors to provide a unique forum for academic and public discourse, seeking to clarify questions of fact and value of pressing concern in scientific research; to enhance the dialogue between academic, corporate, and public interest stakeholders; to increase public-private cooperation in areas of emerging technologies where there are significant ethical concerns; and to sustain in Delaware a unique center of national excellence to serve the public good.

The Center has three main areas of activity:

  • Education: the Center sponsors lectures and discussions around ethical issues of high social interest, and organizes a variety of events for undergraduate and graduate students on research integrity.
  • Research: the Center facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration and publication on ethical and public policy issues that emerge from science and technology.
  • Outreach: the Center seeks to support clear scientific input in debates on issues of social concern, and to engage the private sector and public interest groups, in partnership with academic researchers, to address those concerns.

Adapted from the SEPP Web site.

Learn more

Photo credit: Mandorichard