A selection of articles, op-eds, TV segments, and other media featuring Center staff.
Old Campaign Debt Trails San Jose Councilmember
John Pelissero, senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said it’s not unusual for a politician to carry campaign debt for a long time after their election because it’s difficult to raise funds to pay off old expenses. But he said it can create the appearance of a conflict of interest if a candidate or their family members have other dealings with a company to which they’re indebted.
“Even though it may all be above board, it has this unethical appearance of being inappropriate,” Pelissero told San José Spotlight. “That’s what members of the public may focus on, (saying) ‘Hmm, why is this individual’s family member working for an entity that the former candidate, now councilmember, owes money to?'”
John Pelissero, senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and professor emeritus of political science at Loyola University Chicago quoted on San Jose Spotlight.
Hunter Biden art Auction Presents White House With new Ethics Headache
"Hunter Biden certainly has the right to earn a living through artistic work," Pelissero said. "But as the son of the President of the United States, he should make every effort to avoid engaging in business activities, including the sale of his art, that may present the appearance of a conflict of interest."
"Whereas the planned art sale may be entirely proper, it is often the mere appearance of something being improper, such as an attempt to benefit from being the son of the sitting President, that can create an ethical issue," Pelissero continued. "Joe Biden promised the highest ethical standards for his administration and it would be unfortunate if this matter related to Hunter's art sales becomes a major ethical controversy for his presidency."
John Pelissero, senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and professor emeritus of political science at Loyola University Chicago quoted in Newsweek.
Alex Brandon/AP Photo
Unproven Technology to Block Sun's Rays Raises Practical, Ethical Concerns, Experts say
"There is definitely a use of technology [in addressing climate change], but the point of technology is that it has to serve humanity, instead of humanity serving technology," said Brian Green, director of technology ethics with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, who has followed the geoengineering debate for a decade.
Green told EarthBeat the concerns being raised about solar geoengineering are important ethical considerations. Shooting sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, for instance, is "a pretty dangerous course of action," he said, as scientists do not know the right amount to use, how localized the effect would be or how long it would remain in the atmosphere.
Brian Green, director of technology ethics with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted on National Catholic Reporter.
St. Thomas More for our Times: not a Culture war Hero
"In a time when the Catholic Church in the United States is flirting with Communion bans and populist nationalism, it's good to consider anew why Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians, is not a culture war hero."
David DeCosse, director of religious and Catholic ethics and Campus Ethics Programs at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, published in the National Catholic Reporter.
Chris Downer / Iford: St. Thomas More – doorway detail (cropped)/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Biogen, Fresh off Coveted FDA nod for Aduhelm, Must now Navigate Ethics Minefield for Phase 4 Trial
“When you’re running a trial in places outside the U.S. for a drug that is primarily going to be developed and marketed in the U.S., you have to be very concerned about protecting vulnerable populations,” said Charles Binkley, M.D., director of Bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
“If people in the U.S. refuse to participate because they believe the risk-benefit ratio is too great, [and you find] a group of people who, for other reasons, may not feel that way, you have to be even more careful to protect them and that you’re not exploiting their vulnerability,” Binkley said.
“[Aducaumab has] been approved under the accelerated process but it’s not clear to me that we actually moved these patients from being trial subjects to being actual patients, which has interesting repercussions for ethics in terms of research informed consent,” Binkley said. “Is there going to be a higher standard that physicians are going to need to comply with when prescribing this drug?”
Charles E. Binkley, MD, director of bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted on Fierce Biotech.
Snapchat Ends 'Speed Filter' That Critics Say Encouraged Reckless Driving
Irina Raicu, the director of the Internet Ethics Program at Santa Clara University, said that increasingly, tech companies are doing risk assessments of new products and features to try to get ahead of possible abuses.
"If you have a new tool or feature: What does it allow? What does it invite? And what does it incentivize? There are degrees of responsibility based on those three things," she said. "This Snapchat filter seems like maybe it was missing some of those conversations initially."
"Sometimes," Raicu added, "one of the most thoughtful ways to deploy a product is to never deploy it at all."
Irina Raicu, the director of internet ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted on NPR.
Does Intraoperative Artificial Intelligence Decision Support Pose Ethical Issues?
AI clinical decision support systems (AI CDSSs) may reduce errors and increase clinical accuracy but little consideration has been given to ethical issues that arise from the use of an intraoperative AI CDSS, aside from those of bias and privacy. Recognizing and addressing these and other ethical issues risks long-term effects such as loss of public trust, overly restrictive regulation of AI systems, and rejection of the technology by patients and surgeons.
Charles Binkley, director of bioethics, and Brian Green, director of technology ethics, published in JAMA Surgery in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
‘The Right to be Forgotten’: Should Teens’ Social Media Posts Disappear as They age?
“We’re so worried about what we say and how it might be interpreted or misinterpreted or read in the context that’s changed 10, 20 years from now,” said Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Center at Santa Clara University. “That’s not the kind of society that encourages human flourishing.”
“Should we judge people for who they are now or who they were, years or decades ago?” asked Raicu. “I think we do need to allow for the possibility of people growing and changing.”
Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted by The Washington Post.
UCSB Researchers’ use of Gene-editing Tech on Male Mosquitos Raises Ethical, Environmental Questions
“There are all these anecdotal stories about changing something in our very tightly interrelated community causing downstream effects that we never anticipated,” Binkley said.
“When you have this intermingling between insects and humans, particularly those in which blood is the key point of contact, and you have a mutation — I do think you do have to be thoughtful about what some of the effects could be."
Charles E. Binkley, MD, director of bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted on KCBX Central Coast Public Radio.
How AI Changes the way we Care for Seniors
"Our elderly deserve to get all of the human care that all people deserve, no matter what stage of life they are in. Good human care is best in the context of caring relationships. This is what elderly people have deserved throughout all of history, and they still deserve it now."
Brian Green, director of technology ethics, quoted by LifeWire.