Recent articles in Communications have touched on our professional responsibilities to society, including the importance of attracting more and diverse people to computing, integrating ethics into the technology development cycle, and mitigating the effect of our conferences on the environment. Two new approaches could have impact on both the quality of CS education and those societal concerns.
Reinforcing What Students Learn about Ethics
For decades, accreditation agencies have required that CS students be exposed to the ethical responsibilities of a professional, typically through a course dedicated to societal aspects of computing. But as technology has taken over more aspects of daily life, concern has grown about whether CS graduates really learn enough about ethics and accountability. Harvard University has come up with a unique solution, called "Embedded EthiCS." It combines two tactics: interspersing ethical discussions throughout the curriculum, and engaging the help of philosophy faculty to co-teach relevant material. The evolution of the initiative was described in the August 2019 issue (p. 54).