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Ethics and Technology Minor

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The Ethics and Technology Minor exposes students to the moral complexity of new and emerging technological developments in our society, and encourages them to think critically about their impact on our shared future.

Topics that may be explored in a course of study include: algorithmic bias, data privacy, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, genetic engineering, biotechnology, entrepreneurial decision making, and more. More broadly, the Ethics and Technology Minor advances one of Stanford's long-range efforts to address the ethical implications and societal consequences of technological and scientific advances.
The Ethics and Technology Minor combines foundational courses in ethical reasoning with a diverse set of interdisciplinary courses from across the university, allowing students significant choice in tailoring their program to suit their interests.  For instance, a student with primary interests in data science could have the flexibility to choose up to three different courses in their focused area to supplement the foundational requirements.
A minor in Ethics in Society requires six courses for a minimum of 25 units.  All courses must be taken for a letter grade. Courses credited to the Ethics in Society minor may not be double-counted toward major requirements.*
*Exception:  Majors in the Engineering School may double-count CS 182/CS 182W for their Technology in Society requirement.


The requirements for the Ethics and Technology Minor are outlined below:

Three Foundational Courses

  1. CS 182 or CS 182W / ETHICSOC 182 (Ethics, Public Policy, and Technological Change) – 5 units*
  2. ETHICSOC 20 (Introduction to Moral Philosophy) or ETHICSOC 171 (Justice) – 4-5 units
  3. One ETHICSOC elective at the 100-level or above – 4-5 units

*Note:  CS 182 was previously listed as CS 181 in Winter 2018.

Three Ethics and Technology Electives

Students are required to supplement the foundational courses with three additional electives from the list below.  These courses cover various topics in technology, human values, and social innovation from an interdisciplinary perspective and are drawn from across the university.  The list is updated regularly and students are invited to petition the program director to add a course that is not currently listed and coheres with the aims of the minor.

Eligible Courses

Title Instructor(s) Quarter Day, Time, Location
BIO 313
Ethics in the Anthropocene
Greenbaum, G., Hadly, E. 2019-2020 Spring
COMM 124
Lies, Trust, and Tech (COMM 224)
Hancock, J. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Wednesday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Hewlett Teaching Center 201
COMM 154
The Politics of Algorithms (COMM 254, CSRE 154T, SOC 154, SOC 254C)
Ali, S., Lewis, R., Christin, A. 2019-2020 Autumn
Tuesday Thursday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
School of Education 128
CS 22A
The Social & Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence (INTLPOL 200)
Kaplan, J. 2019-2020 Winter
1:30pm - 2:50pm
CS 80Q
Race and Gender in Silicon Valley (AFRICAAM 80Q)
Lee, C. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
CS 181
Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy
Berke, A., Winstein, K. 2019-2020 Spring
Monday Wednesday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Cubberley Auditorium
ENGR 148
Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions (ENGR 248)
Fuchs, J. 2019-2020 Winter
4:30pm - 7:20pm
Ethics of Sports (PHIL 21N)
Bidadanure, J. 2019-2020 Autumn
Tuesday Thursday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
School of Education 206
Ethics in Bioengineering (BIOE 131)
Altman, R., Magnus, D., Trotsyuk, A., Yang, L., Huang, C., Ruiz, C., Carlson, M., Fan, Y. 2019-2020 Spring
Monday Wednesday
4:30pm - 5:50pm
Introduction to Environmental Ethics (ETHICSOC 278M, PHIL 178M, PHIL 278M, POLISCI 134L)
Adams, M. 2019-2020 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Foundations of Bioethics
Magnus, D. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
Intro to Disability Studies: Disability and Technology (ENGLISH 108A)
Kantor, R. 2019-2020 Autumn
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 3:20pm
Hewlett Teaching Center Rm 101
Politics of Data: Algorithmic Culture, Big Data, and Information Waste
Edwards, P. 2019-2020 Spring
10:30am - 1:20pm
ME 267
Ethics and Equity in Transportation Systems
Zoepf, S., Gerdes, J. 2019-2020 Autumn
1:30pm - 2:50pm
MS&E 193
Technology and National Security: Past, Present, and Future (INTLPOL 256, MS&E 293)
Eikenberry, K., Matthews, I., Olney, R., Lin, H., Matchett, L., Lisbonne, S., Simon, N., Liedtka, D. 2019-2020 Autumn
Monday Wednesday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
Gates B1
MS&E 234
Data Privacy and Ethics
Ugander, J. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
MS&E 254
The Ethical Analyst
Nesbitt, D. 2019-2020 Spring
3:00pm - 5:50pm
MS&E 330
Law, Bias, & Algorithms (CS 209, CSRE 230, SOC 279)
Goel, S. 2019-2020 Spring
4:30pm - 7:20pm
Departmental Room
NBIO 101
Social and Ethical Issues in the Neurosciences (NBIO 201)
Hurlbut, W., Newsome, W. 2019-2020 Spring
Monday Wednesday
7:30pm - 9:20pm
Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
Etchemendy, J. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
Ethics of Truth in a Post-Truth World (PUBLPOL 203F)
Liautaud, S. 2019-2020 Spring
1:30pm - 4:20pm
Ethics on the Edge: Business, Non-Profit Organizations, Government, and Individuals (PUBLPOL 234)
Liautaud, S. 2019-2020 Spring
4:30pm - 6:20pm
The Public Life of Science and Technology (CSRE 1T)
Edwards, P. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Wednesday
11:30am - 12:20pm
STS 190
Issues in Technology and the Environment
Sato, K. 2019-2020 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am
Digital Technology, Society, and Democracy
Davies, T. 2019-2020 Autumn
7:30pm - 10:20pm