Recent Work on Ethics and Sustainability

SustainabilityAs many who follow ISEE are aware, ISEE tracks research in environmental ethics and related areas.  We provide a comprehensive bibliography in our quarterly newsletter and maintain a list of works (in English), divided into subfields and introductory textbooks or anthologies, on our website.

As a subfield, Ethics and Sustainability continues to pick up steam.  Older works include Lisa Newton’s Ethics and Sustainability: Sustainable Development and the Moral Life (Prentice Hall, 2003); Bryan Norton’s Searching for Sustainability (Cambridge UP, 2003) and Sustainability: A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management (Univ. of Chicago P, 2005); Ryne Raffaelle, Wade Robison, and Evan Selinger’s Sustainability Ethics: 5 Questions (Automatic Press/VIP, 2010); Paul Thompson’s The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics (University P of Kentucky, 2010); and Christian Becker’s Sustainability Ethics and Sustainability Research (Springer, 2011).  To this list, two recent pieces can be added.

Sarah Fredericks (University of North Texas) has recently published Measuring and Evaluating Sustainability Ethics in Sustainability Indexes (Routledge, 2013).  The book provides a theoretical and practical demonstration of how ethics and technical considerations can aid the development of sustainability indexes to overcome the division in the literature and aid sustainability initiatives.

Gavin Van Horn, with the Center for Humans and Nature, published this week a primer on Sustainability Ethics that will be suitable for introductory courses in environmental studies and environmental ethics.  Gavin also spoke on the subject at the Center’s 2011 Forum on Ethics and Nature.

WEBSITE – 100 Views of Climate Change

100 views of climate change

The new website 100 Views of Climate Change, provides extensive annotations and links to videos, podcasts, books, articles, essays, and websites that convey high-quality information in clear and appealing ways to non-specialist adults, including college-level students, their teachers, and the interested public. Its range is multidisciplinary, ranging from climate science to ecology, agriculture to literature, communication to policy, economics to energy, ethics to daily life.

This site is helpful if you’re interested in climate change and sometimes include the subject in your teaching but don’t feel 100% comfortable with all aspects of the topic; or if you sometimes wish you had a friendly place to look things up, or to which you could send curious friends, relatives, and neighbors; or if you just want to get a good introduction to the topic without having to plow through hard-to-read materials.

The site is a project of Changing Climates @ Colorado State University, an outreach and education initiative supported in large part by the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at CSU.

GRADUATE PROGRAM – MA & PhD in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion at CIIS

CIISCIIS2In fall 2013, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) will launch a new graduate program in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion. The program is housed in the Institute’s Philosophy and Religion Department, and will offer both MA and PhD degrees.

CIIS is now accepting applications for the fall 2013 semester.

The ecological challenges of the 21st century represent a crisis of values and consciousness. The twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss are among the greatest existential threats humanity has seen. Graduate study in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion allows students to cultivate the knowledge and wisdom to respond to the ecological crisis from integral and transdisciplinary perspectives. Students gain skills and insight to transform practices, worldviews, and consciousness in the service of a more just and flourishing planetary future.

The program’s uniquely integrated curriculum explores such questions as:

  • What are the roles of religion, spirituality, and culture in the ecological crises of our time?
  • What ecological insights do the world’s religious heritages offer?
  • How can exploring worldviews help us to understand and address ecological trauma?

Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion MA

The MA in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion emphasizes an embodied, engaged approach, in which contemplative practice and career exploration complement rigorous study. Students are at the forefront of a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field devoted to ecological healing and resilience. Graduates will be well prepared to engage environmental issues in multiple spheres, or to pursue doctoral-level study.

Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion PhD

PhD students investigate and analyze the role of worldviews, philosophies, and religions in generating and responding to global challenges. Doctoral students wishing to specialize in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion should possess a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to the program (e.g., religion, ecology, biology, environmental studies, environmental history, geography, anthropology, literature, or philosophy) from an accredited graduate institution.

Core Faculty Core faculty are at the forefront of the dialogue linking spiritual and cosmological with ecology and sustainability. Faculty include: Elizabeth Allison, Robert McDermott, Jacob Sherman, and Brian Swimme.

For more information, visit the program’s website.

To speak with an admissions counselor or to apply, email, or call 415.575.6164.


PROGRAM – MA in Applied Ethics at Oregon State University

OSUSchool of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Application Deadline: March 15th

There is a great need for people who can make wise decisions about the moral and ethical issues facing the workplace, the community, and the larger world.  You can be one of those people.  OSU’s Masters in Applied Ethics program is designed to develop your moral reasoning and critical thinking skills in the service of an engaged life. Through coursework, a real-world practicum, and a thesis, you’ll learn how to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical issues, mentored by faculty who are actively involved in ethics research across a wide array of disciplines.

There are five primary areas of research specialty in our department MA in Applied Ethics - Five areas of StudyFor information see the department’s website or download the flier.
Don’t Just PREPARE for the World as it is…..Prepare to CHANGE it!

PROGRAM – Master’s Programme in Applied Ethics

Center for Applied EthicsFrom 2013 the Centre for Applied Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden offers a master’s programme in applied ethics. The programme is open for students with different educational backgrounds who are interested in applied ethics. Please inform potential students. Deadline for applications: January 15, 2013

The programme started in 2001 and it has been recruiting students from all over the world as well as teachers from different countries. It is unique in Sweden and there are only a few similar programmes in Europe. Both Swedish and international students are welcome. We cooperate with the Master’s programme at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and students may choose courses in Utrecht, as part of the programme.


ONLINE SUMMER SCHOOL – Ethics of Emerging Technologies

EthicsschoolEthicSchool has announced a virtual summer school on Ethics of Emerging Technologies. Here are the pertinent details:

  • Dates: 9-13 September 2013:  14.00-17.00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
  • Location: Internet – webinar system (for registered participants)
  • Participants: max. 20 per session
  • Free of charge – voluntary contributions such as lectures, scientific committee membership, open access teaching materials & literature or sponsorship are welcome.

To register for the course, please visit the course’s official webpage. The preliminary programme is listed below (with a PDF available here).

Preliminary Programme

Monday 9 September 2013 – Introductions

14.00‐17.00 CEST: lectures, Q&A

  • Introduction to EthicSchool, welcome to Western participants
  • Lecture 1: Introduction in Applied Ethics – Ethics and Law
  • Lecture 2: Engagement, Communication and Dialogue on Emerging Technologies
  • Lecture 3: Recent trends in Social Studies of Science and related areas

Tuesday 10 September 2013 – Nanotechnologies in multicultural perspective

14.00‐17.00 CEST: lectures, exercise

  • Lecture 4: Nano and Health from a non‐Western perspective
  • Lecture 5: Sustainable Nanotechnologies for All: barriers and opportunities
  • Exercise 1: Case study of Responsible Nano‐innovation with the Nanometer self‐assessment tool

Wednesday 11 September 2013 – Conflicting nanointerests

14.00‐17.00 CEST: lecture, exercise, master class

  • Lecture 6: Nanoelectronics, Peace and Security
  • Exercise 2: Dialogue on nanoethics using the Ethics Toolkit
  • Masterclass 1: Participants present their research in 5‐10 minutes and receive feedback from lecturers

Thursday 12 September 2013: What it means to be Human

14.00‐17.00 CEST: lecture, exercise, master class

  • Lecture 7: Perspectives on Human Nature and Dignity
  • Exercise 3: DEMOCS card game on Human Enhancement
  • Master class 2: Participants present their research in 5‐10 minutes and receive feedback from lecturers

Friday 13 September 2013: Nature and Techno Revisited

14.00‐17.00 CEST: lectures, master class

  • Lecture 8: From Bio to Techno (e.g., synthetic biology, 3D printing biological materials)
  • Lecture 9: From Techno to Bio (e.g., robotics, AI)
  • Master class 3: Participants present their research in 5‐10 minutes and receive feedback from lecturers
  • Wrap‐up