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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.


Google Sign

Hey Google, Sorry You Lost Your Ethics Council, So We Made One for You

"I think this was a great missed opportunity. It left me wondering who, within Google, was involved in the decision-making about whom to invite. (That decision, in itself, required diverse input.) But this speaks to the broader problem here: the fact that Google made the announcement about the creation of the board without any explanation of their criteria for selecting the participants. There was also very little discussion of their reasons for creating the board, what they hoped the board's impact would be, etc. Had they provided more context, the ensuing discussion might have been different.

"There are other issues, too; given how fast AI is developing and being deployed, four meetings (even with a diverse group of AI ethics advisors), over the course of a year, are not likely to have meaningful impact--i.e. to really change the trajectory of research or product development. As long as the model is agile development, we need agile ethics input, too."

Irina Raicu, director of Internet Ethics, quoted in MIT Technology Review.

In this file photo from Oct. 28, 2006, a mock patient is cared for during a drill at the Nebraska biocontainment unit in the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Money in Medicine

"Ann Mongoven thinks that it is 'almost impossible for modern medicine and research' to be conducted without conflicts of interest. But when it comes to inaccurate disclosures, Mongoven said it comes down to three possibilities: 'Sloppiness, deliberate deceit or highly questionable distinction-making.'"

"Mongoven said that disclosures are an acknowledgement that scientists may not be the best judges of distortion when they stand to benefit financially from a published finding. She likened disclosures to a community check on the way financial incentives may cloud concluding judgements."

Ann Mongoven, associate director of Health Care Ethics, quoted in Yale News.

robot hand typing

How AI Will Go Out Of Control


“There are a lot of people suddenly interested in A.I. ethics because they realize they’re playing with fire. And this is the biggest thing since fire.”

Brian Patrick Green, director of Technology Ethics, quoted in CB Insights.

Google sign

Is Tech Development in Sunnyvale Creating a Conflict of Interest?

In reference to Google's agreement to pay nearly $1.25 million to fund two Sunnyvale city staff positions, Hana Callaghan says that the agreement appears to create a conflict of interest given the scale at which Google is growing within the city. When asked if the arrangement was made to buy influence, Callaghan answered, "Even if that wasn't the intended effect, it certainly gives the appearance that that might be what is the motivation behind it." Callaghan added, "Even if they agree that they won't get special treatment, is that actually what in fact is going to happen?" 

Hana Callaghan, director of Government Ethics, quoted on NBC Bay Area.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Saudi Arabia sign

After L.A., the Hamptons, and Manhattan, This Trendy Boutique Gym Is Taking on One of the Most Controversial Places on Earth--Saudi Arabia

"'Companies are faced with particular challenges whenever they're dealing with countries that are under totalitarian regimes, because they're a bit more mercurial,' warns Don Heider, head of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Plus, with social media, he says, 'the speed at which information travels, and your reputation can be damaged, has increased exponentially.'"

Don Heider quoted in Inc.

UCLA coach Jorge Salcedo was charged along with nearly 50 other people in indictments made public March 12 in Boston. (AP Photos/Gerry Broome)

The College Admissions Scandal Revealed What Can Happen When a Moral Compass Breaks. How Can People Fix This?

David DeCosse, director of campus ethics programs at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, believes there’s a willful blindness involved when parents say, “I’m going to Photoshop you so we can make you look like the water polo player we know you never were.”

“It’s almost as if the outrageous quality of that dissipated and was never seen,” DeCosse said.

“One of the great things about the United States is the fact that it has offered opportunity to so many people. … The dark side of that is the way we have really kind of displaced morality with fame, success and riches," he added.

David DeCosse, Director of Campus Ethics Programs, quoted in Deseret News (AP Photos/Gerry Broome).

Don Heider

More Social Media Safety Urged

"Their attention has primarily been getting markets onto product and maximizing profits, rather than these safety issues. And I think time and time again the safety issues have to start taking precedent."

Don Heider, executive director, quoted in an ABC 7 News story.

Memorial for New Zealand Shooting

Facebook: Nobody Reported Video of New Zealand Shooting as It Was Happening

“People may well watch something in horror and still not report it,” said Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. “Reports suggest that there was a pre-planned, coordinated effort to modify the video so that it would evade automatic detection; the people who posted such versions are much more of a concern than those who just watched but didn’t report it.”

Irina Raicu, director of Internet Ethics, quoted in The Mercury News.

What’s in Store For Online Privacy and Data Management?

Elizabeth’s second example is the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at the University of Santa Clara in the US. The Center has a focus on internet ethics, exploring ethical issues in privacy, big data, social media and cybersecurity. Available resources include a teaching module on data ethics and a framework for ethical decision making which is also available as an app.

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics mentioned in The Mandarin.

A logo sign outside of a facility occupied by Zenefits in Tempe, Arizona (AP Photos/Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA).

Zenefits, In Midst of Makeover, Has Lost Almost Half of Its Board

McGlashan did the right thing by stepping down from some of the boards he was on.

“By joining a board, you’re basically saying ‘I’m here to try and help this company or nonprofit or university be its very best. ... But if something happens with me, I’ve been indicted, I think it really impinges my ability to be able to help.’”

Don Heider, Executive Director, quoted in San Francisco Chronicle (AP Photos/Tripplaar Kristoffer/SIPA).