Ethics and Society Newsfeed – February 9, 2018

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Politics
The Circumscribed Ethics Investigation into Devin Nunes
“The House Intelligence Committee chair claimed he’d been completely cleared, but the panel probing his conduct never gained access to the intelligence he was accused of divulging.”

Trump’s Choice For Ethics Chief Wins Praise As ‘Somebody Who Plays It By The Book’ “Emory A. Rounds III is an associate counsel at OGE, a career civil servant who previously served in the ethics office of the Commerce Department and in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or the JAG Corps. The White House announced Wednesday that Trump intends to nominate Rounds as OGE director for a five-year term that requires Senate confirmation.”

Does Texas business group’s use of “dark money” for its political action committee follow state ethics rules?
“The powerful Texas Association of Business has been using “dark money” — which obscures the identity of political donors — for its political action committee. The group says the money’s used only for administrative expenses.”

Ethicists explain exactly why James Comey isn’t qualified for his new gig teaching ethics
“Former FBI director James Comey, who faced the moral quandary of how to appropriately investigate US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign and wound up upsetting all sides of the political spectrum, is due to become a professor in, of all subjects, ethical leadership. We wondered if professional ethicists agreed, and so asked four professors in the leadership and ethics to evaluate Comey’s behavior.”

Bioethics/Medical Ethics/Animal Ethics
Spotlight on procreation rights as France begins sweeping bioethics debate
“France on Wednesday kicked off a marathon round of talks designed to inform the country’s legislation on bioethics, with the government hoping to avoid a repeat of the poisonous debate that hijacked the legalisation of same-sex marriage.”

Physicians, ethicists urge Congress not to pass ‘right-to-try’ legislation
“Dozens of doctors, medical ethicists, and lawyers are warning Congress that legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental 
drugs risks harming patients’ health.”

Now you can genetically test your child for disease risks. Should you?
“Genomics is cheaper and more available than ever, but its usefulness for parents has yet to be proven.”

Monkeys? Humans? The ethics of testing diesel fumes
“German car manufacturer Volkswagen is under fire following revelations that it part-funded tests in which humans and monkeys inhaled diesel fumes for hours.”

Research Ethics
Jump in animal research in Canada generates debate on science ethics
“Critics charge that Canada is lagging other countries in seeking alternatives to using animals in research, and suggest that universities, in particular, can be slow to change their ways.”

Scientists hate the NIH’s new rules for experimenting on humans 
“This week, after almost a decade of work, some new rules go into effect for researchers funded by NIH.”

Diesel monkey tests: can harmful corporate research ever be justified?
“The recent allegations that researchers funded by the German car industry tested the effects of diesel fumes on humans and monkeys has raised serious questions about research ethics in the corporate world.”

Technology Ethics
Ethical Tech Will Require a Grassroots Revolution
“…calling on the companies themselves to redesign their products with ethics, not purely profits, in mind, and calling on Congress to write basic consumer protections into law.”

Should Data Scientists Adhere to a Hippocratic Oath?
“…while calls for regulation have been met with increased lobbying to block or shape any rules, some people around the industry are entertaining forms of self regulation. One idea swirling around: Should the programmers and data scientists massaging our data sign a kind of digital Hippocratic oath?”

The ethical dilemmas of self-driving cars
“The arrival of the self-driving car presents a challenging new dilemma: Whom should the vehicle save – and whom should it harm – when an accident is unavoidable? “

The ethics of AI: Robots will rise, but will they rule us all? “The rise of artificial intelligence is posing interesting challenges for society, raising questions about ethics in a modern world where robots have intelligent decision-making power.”

Want to design user behavior? Pass the ‘regret test’ first
“What are the ethical responsibilities of companies that are able to manipulate human behavior on a massive scale? It’s a question one hopes technologists and designers ask themselves when building world-changing products — but one that hasn’t been asked often enough.”

As technology develops, so must journalists’ code of ethics 
“AI is sure to bring many benefits but concerns over its ability to make decisions mean human journalists’ input remains vital”

Environmental/Climate Change Ethics
Evaluating the Environmental Impacts of Trump’s Presidency
“Looking back at the rollbacks the president has made to environmental protections and regulations throughout his first year in office.”

Trump EPA nominee advances after hosting fundraisers for 2 Senate committee members
“The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to serve as deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a 11-10 party-line vote. “

Should People Stop Eating Seafood?
“Fish eating is, for me, an ethics issue, but it is difficult to disentangle that part with the sustainability component,” Marino said. “Conservation is an ethical issue for me as well.”

Business Ethics
Comment: ‘We can’t leave Silicon Valley to solve AI’s ethical issues’
“Guendalina Dondé of the Institute of Business Ethics explains how companies can empower their employees and other stakeholders to use artificial intelligence efficiently, effectively and ethically”

Ethical leadership can have negative consequences, Baylor University researchers say “A new Baylor study published in the Journal of Business Ethics reveals that ethical leadership compounded by job-hindrance stress and supervisor-induced stress can lead to employee deviance and turnover. The research reflects the thoughts of 609 employees who were surveyed across two studies.”

Why Indian business schools will soon teach about karma, Mahabharata
“Business schools in India are set for a revamp of their curriculum, which will see the introduction of a new course on Indian ethics and concepts.”

Business schools now teaching #MeToo, N.F.L. protests and Trump
“As topics like sexual harassment dominate the national conversation and chief executives weigh in on the ethical and social issues of the day, business schools around the country are hastily reshaping their curriculums with case studies ripped straight from the headlines.”

Ethics and Pop Culture
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and the ethics of prisoner organ donations
“The idea of using a death-row inmate’s organ to save a child’s life made for entertaining and thought-provoking television, but it barely scratched the surface of the ongoing global debate over the ethical and legal implications of organ donations from inmates.”

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Confronts The Ethics And Science Of Survival, And Human Frailty Star Trek: Discovery episode 14 “The War Without, the War Within” confronts character ethics.

Philosophy and Ethics
In Theory: Feminist thinkers challenge ‘traditional ethics’
“A driving force for this revolution [women’s movements] might be a subject taught in women’s studies and modern-day philosophy courses known as “feminist ethics,” a branch of thought that argues “traditional ethics” neglects the perspective of women.”

Ethics & Society Newsfeed: March 10, 2017

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Politics

White House Slammed by Federal Ethics Chief for Not Disciplining Kellyanne Conway
U.S. government’s official ethics watchdog blasted White House for not taking disciplinary action against senior counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s products on TV

Trump’s Ethics Order Seen as Boost for Shadow Lobbying
President Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday explains executive order to ban lobbying for five years for officials who leave office – addresses the ethics of “draining the swamp”

George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer says Jeff Sessions’ denial of Russia talks ‘a good way to go to jail’
Alleged ethics violations Jeff Sessions may have made when he claimed under oath that he “did not have communications with the Russians”

ACLU lawyer files ethics complaint against Sessions over Russia testimony: report
An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer, Christopher Anders, formally filed an ethics complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any contact with Russian officials

Trump’s team nixed ethics course for White House staff
White House staff has received no ethics training under the Trump transition team and now presidency

Medical Ethics

House Republicans would let employers demand workers’ genetic test results
Bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars; employers see that genetic and other health information

Prisoners with serious mental health problems face urgent treatment delays
Prisoners in the UK are supposed to receive mental health services after being referred to such a unit within 14 days and new official numbers have indicated that regulations are not being followed

New pregnancy testing technique needs limits say ethics body
Press release from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics explores the ethics of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) and explains why they are calling for a moratorium on the use of the new technology

Ethical Implications of User Perceptions of Wearable Devices
Wearable devices can save time at medical appointments and may even save lives – ethical implications of having large amounts of personal information stored in devices that are shared with third parties

When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes
Medical costs increasing and patient benefits are declining  – ethical conundrum of why medical professionals continue to prescribe unnecessary treatment, and calls for responsible regulation

States Wrestle With Legalizing Payments For Gestational Surrogates
Legislators proposed a bill that would regulate gestational surrogacy — potentially adding legal oversight to fertility clinics that facilitate these pregnancies

Environmental Ethics

EPA environmental justice leader resigns, amid White House plans to dismantle program
Key environmental justice leader at the Environmental Protection Agency has resigned, saying recent budget proposal to defund work would harm the people who most rely on the EPA

Why Won’t American Business Push for Action on Climate?
Fortune 500 companies who tout themselves as “green companies” have not stepped up to the plate when it comes to lobbying for climate change regulation

WCC participates in UN panel discussion on climate ethics
World Council of Churches (WCC) explains their involvement on UN’s panel discussion on climate ethics and why a human rights framework should be considered when taking action on climate change

Technology

Why we must teach morality to robots
Ethical input with robots needs to come before, not after, developing other skills

Ethics And Hacking: What You Need To Know
Forbes Technology Council members weigh in on ethics and hacking

Yes, what you do or say in an Uber may be recorded
Uber users to watch what you say and do in the back of those vehicles, as it just may be recorded