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“Engaging the Future Responsibly” with the Bioethics Commission

Tomorrow, Misti Ault Anderson, M.S., M.A., research analyst at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission), will offer a plenary speech on ethics integration at all levels of education at the 16th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum. The conference, sponsored by the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, will be held October 3-4 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The theme of this year’s conference is “Engaging the Future Responsibly,” with topics ranging from ethics in engineering and technology, to health sciences and graduate education.

Noting the need for improved educational materials to support ethics instruction in traditional and nontraditional educational settings, the Commission has committed to building a foundation of educational materials that can be used across a wide range of academic disciplines. Over the past five months, the Commission released three additional sets of educational materials, including a conversation series and primers on the ethical management of incidental findings in various contexts, and educational modules on vulnerable populations and compensation for research-related injury. These materials add to the Commission’s growing library of educational resources. In addition, the Commission recently announced its next report will focus on deliberation and education.

Anderson will point out that this commission is the first national level bioethics commission in the United States to develop educational materials around the contemporary issues addressed in its reports, many of which include recommendations encouraging increased and improved ethics education. The Commission’s expanding collection of educational materials reflects its commitment to support ethics education actively. All educational materials developed by the Commission are available for free on its website at Instructors are encouraged to access and use the materials, provide feedback on their utility, and suggest improvements. Comments or suggestions should be sent to

“Empirical research is still needed on approaches to integrating ethics at all levels of education, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional training,” said Anderson. “The Bioethics Commission encourages the academic community to advance this research, with the goal of strengthening ethics education across the curriculum because engaging the future responsibly starts with educating current and future professionals about ethical responsibility.”

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