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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Media Mentions

A selection of articles, op-eds, TV segments, and other media featuring Center staff.


homeless woman leaning against a building

Coronavirus Proves Inequality is a Public Health Threat

Ann Mongoven, associate direcor of Healthcare Ethics, emphasizes that the coronavirus outbreak underscores that access to primary health care is a necessity, and reminds us that humanity really is all in one boat.

"In the long run, we must integrate two moral languages that weaken each other when compartmentalized: social justice, and the common good. Health care for the vulnerable — frail elderly, the homeless, immigrants and refugees, the un- and under-insured — is often described as a social justice issue. Conversely, pandemic planning is often framed by the ethical challenge to protect the common good. But social justice is intrinsic to the common good. And the common good cannot be advanced without social justice."

Ann Mongoven, associate director of Healthcare Ethics, featured in The Mercury News.

Men wearing face masks - AP Photo/Kin Cheung

The COVID-19 Coronavirus Is Now A Pandemic - Can We Ethically Deal With Lockdowns?

Margaret R. McLean, Ph.D., associate director and director of Bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics quoted from her article originally published in the San Francisco  Chronicle on February 5, 2020. 

"People became progressively worried about what values were guiding such public health decisions. Were the responses of officials coming from fear and expedience or a concern for the public good? Decision makers found themselves forced to choose — and choose quickly — between protecting individual freedom and guarding the common good."

Margaret McLean, associate director and director of Bioethics, quoted in Forbes.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Teller County Sheriff Runs Several Businesses on the Side While Serving as Elected Sheriff

“This sounds very in the shadows,” says Joan Harrington, director of social sector ethics at Santa Clara (California) University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

“Public officials and fiduciaries are held to a higher standard — not just impropriety but from the ethical standpoint, the appearance of impropriety.”

“If you had a director of a nonprofit who also had a business, with people sharing jobs [working for the director’s nonprofit and the director’s private business at the same time], without analysis of whether that was fair and reasonable, you’d have a problem,” says Harrington.

“We often think, if you disclose, that’s OK. Not true,” she adds. “They [potential conflicts] need to be disclosed, discussed and analyzed.”

Joan Harrington, director of Social Sector Ethics, quoted in Colorado Springs Independent.

Ann Mongoven

Coronavirus Containment and Impact on Unhoused Populations

Ann Mongoven discusses how COVID-19 is affecting the homeless, and how "radical inequalities in our society are intrinsically a public health threat." She appears at the 6:40 mark in the first segment.

Ann Mongoven, associate director of Healthcare Ethics, interviewed on Vice News Tonight.

Ethics and Media Meet at Catholic University Programs

“A source is not a means to and end for the journalist, but it’s about coming alongside people, who are oftentimes in great distress, who are victims of crime, victims of natural disasters, and trying to tell their stories in a very truthful and compassionate way,” said Don Heider.

“It’s part of this idea that you are there to help people, that during your career you are not just learning a vocation for its own sake, but you have a larger purpose to do good, to help people, to give back to the world,” Heider said.

Don Heider, executive director, quoted in Our Sunday Visitor on February 21, 2020.

Should Transgender Students Be Allowed To Compete In Women's Athletics?

"I think Title IX was originally about fair and equal treatment, and so the transgender students have a claim to fair and equal treatment as well."

"As people develop a better understanding of the experience of the transgender student, society will catch up."

Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, weighs in on the challenges leaders face balancing the rights of all student-athletes, both transgender and cisgender, in ways that are fair on NPR Morning Edition.

Pope Francis

Catholic Leaders Call for Ethical Guidelines Around AI

Delegating decision making to automated systems could also lead to humans becoming less skilled at knowing how to make decisions properly, says Brian Green of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. "How can we as human beings maintain our moral capacities and become better at them while automating a lot of decision-making power?"

Brian Patrick Green, director of Technology Ethics, quoted in Axios.

Joshua Lott Pool - AP Photo

Vatican Advisory Group Issues Call for AI Ethics

“There are people in the technology industry, whether they are CEOs or engineers or whether they are Catholic or not…they are interested in what the church has to say,”

Brian Patrick Green, director of Technology Ethics, quoted in The Wall Street Journal. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)


(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Fighting the COVID-19 'Infodemic'

"Many people get trapped into it because of the thinking paradigm, because they can't tell the difference between the two. They need to be slower," said Vincent. "We've got to let our cognitive systems actually kick in so that we are more reasoned, skeptical. But if those things don't happen, we are already filling the gaps with the bias we have."

"As a public health person I want to say I absolutely don't want to wait for the tech companies on it," said Ann Mongoven, assistant director of healthcare ethics at Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. "What I would want to accentuate as a positive is some very proactive engagement of the public health community not sitting back and just waiting to see how is the tech world going to figure this out."

Ann Mongoven, associate director of Healthcare Ethics, and Subramaniam Vincent, director of Journalism and Media Ethics, quoted in CGTN

Ann Skeet

Ethics Watchdog on S.F. City Hall Corruption Scandal

KPIX 5's Wilson Walker interviews Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics about the San Francisco City Hall corruption scandal.

Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, interviewed on KPIX 5.