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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.


health care workers stand in line for vaccine distribution in New York in January, 2021

California's Vaccine Sites Don't all Require Proof of Eligibility, Leaving Room for Line Jumpers

“I do think the honor system is a reasonable way to do this,” Binkley said. “You’re always going to have bad players who are going to try to game the system, jump in line. We learned that in kindergarten. So to create a system to keep them out strikes me as wasting a lot of resources and energy that could be better spent making sure the vulnerable are able to get the access they need."

Charles Binkley, director of bioethics, quoted in the San Fransisco Chronicle.

Kathy Willens/AP Photo

Michigan GOP to Probe Whitmer $155K ‘Hush Money’ Deal as new Severances Emerge

While separation agreements and salary payouts can be common at private companies and nonprofits, they are “not the norm” in the public sector, said John Pelissero, a senior scholar in government at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. 

The confidentiality clause in Gordon’s agreement raises ethical concerns because it does not allow the public “to know why the payout of salary took place,” Pelissero said.

“These are public tax dollars and the public interest tends to be served better when transparency is present,” he said. “Not disclosing such presents the appearance that something is being hidden from the public.”

John P. Pelissero, Ph.D., senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted on Bridged Michigan.

David Eggert/AP Photo

Health Equity in Vulnerable Populations with Aysha Gardne‪r‬

In this episode of the Swift Healthcare podcast, Aysha Gardner speaks about her article published by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University addressing health equity for vulnerable populations, exposing the practice of gynecological surgeries being forced on women in ICE camps in Ocilla, Georgia that was widely reported in the NY Times. 

"The reason why it upset me is because of the historical implications of, especially, women of color and people from marginalized communities having forced procedures."

"That place in Georgia was exposed, but it is probably happening in other facilities."

Aysha Gardner, Health Care Ethics Intern, interviewed on the Swift Healthcare podcast.

4 Lessons on Designing Responsible, Ethical Tech: Microsoft Case Study

Despite their best intentions, there’s often a gap in businesses between the desire to act ethically and following through on those good intentions.

We call this the intention-action gap. Closing this gap is key to ensuring technology is developed in a more responsible, inclusive manner.

To help close the intention-action gap, the World Economic Forum recently embarked on a project to unearth tools, processes, and lessons from organizations that have made progress in operationalizing ethics in technology. 

Brian Green, director of technology ethics, published on the World Economic Forum Blog.

Andrew Cuomo’s Covid-19 Nursing Home Fiasco Shows the Ethical Perils of Pandemic Policymaking

The ultimate ethics test for Cuomo’s actions should be whether his decision to withhold data was based on the public interest or his personal interest, said John Pelissero, a senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

“What appears to have come out is that the Cuomo administration made a politically expedient decision,” Pelissero said. “In doing so, for what appears to be political reasons, they failed to serve the public interest.”

John Pelissero, senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago, quoted in Stat News.

Hans Pennink/AP Photo Pool

COVID: One Medical Controversy Raises Question: Who is Monitoring Vaccine Providers?

Charles Binkley, director of bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said there should be a system of checks and balances, but “I worry about that old adage of cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

“I’d rather have a system where we let some bad players in rather than having it so restrictive that we turn people away, particularly the vulnerable,” Binkley said.

Charles Binkley, director of bioethics, quoted in The Mercury News.

This article also appeared in the following publications:

Daily Democrat

Vallejo Times Herald

Marin Independent Journal

East Bay Times

Gustavo Fring/Pexels

The “Fundamental, Non-Politicized Ideal”: Toward a New BLM Coverage

“It boils down to how journalists and editors are making decisions about what is newsworthy,” Varma says. “Is it only newsworthy if there’s a fire? Can it be newsworthy that this many people are concerned, and what are they trying to accomplish by coming together?” 

Anita Varma, assistant director, journalism and media ethics, and social sector ethics, quoted by the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ethics in Space

"The arguments in favor of exploring space involve developing science and technology (and indeed space exploration has already resulted in incredible gains in knowledge and technology as well, such as GPS), preserving the human species (and other Earth life) off-planet in case of existential disaster, and seeking human purpose in the cosmos. But we have to ask, ethically, is it worth it?"

Brian Green, director, technology ethics, published on Daily Nous.

Boston University Law School Creates First Critical Race Theory Professorship in the Country

“This process likely involved the donor and the university president,” Don Heider told The Fix via a phone interview.

He said it is likely Onwuachi-Willig would have had no say in the process.

The awarding of endowed chairs to deans is “commonplace” in universities, Heider said. In fact, the endowment itself, $3 million, “isn’t enough to start a professorship from scratch.”

Heider said that he sees this as a way for the university to retain Dean Onwuachi-Willig and university officials likely made the decision without her involvement.

Don Heider, executive director at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted on The College Fix.

Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo 2014

Churches Should Mandate Vaccines for People Coming Back to Mass

"Churches have an ethical obligation to protect the health of clergy, staff and worshipers. One of the highest-risk settings for contracting Covid-19 is a large, closed space containing many people. In addition, many religious rites include actions that increase the risk of infection. It is morally irresponsible for churches to invite people to worship and receive the sacraments without taking all effective steps to minimize this risk. Since the approved Covid-19 vaccines provide a simple and effective means to achieve this end, churches would be justified in mandating vaccination."

Charles Binkley, director, bioethics, published in America Magazine