Ethics Lab is a hub for translational ethics research and creative ethics education. Ethics asks questions about how the world should be, but asking these questions leaves us with a crucial challenge: how do we actually get there? At Ethics Lab we take a practical approach, developing new methods to address the complex real-world contexts in which contemporary ethical problems arise, including divisions in our democracy, ethics for the digital age, and rapidly shifting developments in bioethics. We harness methods from design to move from ambiguity to action, and to enable collaborative problem solving through a values-based lens. Our approach brings together teams of people who each come to the table with distinct viewpoints and modes of working. In this way, we see ethics not just as a set of questions and concepts, but as a dynamic creative tool for making progress in our world.
The Ethics Lab Difference
We believe that students from all disciplines need innovative ways of thinking that foreground ethical values. Through our flagship courses taught in our dedicated lab space in historic Healy Hall, our students put core ethical concepts to use as tools for making responsible progress on today’s urgent issues. We also infuse ethics into courses across the university—from chemistry and computer science to foreign service and policy—by developing creative exercises that surface the ethical issues embedded in discipline-specific contexts. By developing these activities into shareable teaching toolkits for educators across all disciplines, we extend our educational impact throughout Georgetown and beyond.
Our direct impact projects and interdisciplinary research allows us to work with a wide range of academic and institutional partners. Through custom activities, we empower researchers and students from diverse fields to discern ethical issues in the world and enable collaborative problem solving. We help teams externalize their thought processes, build a shared understanding of underlying values, and collaborate more effectively, generating new insights for real-world solutions.