Ethics Done


Grappling with complex issues requires more
than knowledge and technical skills...

we believe it takes ethics

Advancements in digital technology, medicine, and global connectivity are fundamentally changing the way the way we live. These changes bring enormous opportunity for progress, but also deep challenges like:

Artificial IntelligenceGenetic EngineeringPolitical Polarization

Grappling with these complex issues requires more than knowledge and technical skills. 

We believe ethical considerations need to be central in tackling the most pressing concerns of our era. 

At Ethics Lab, we innovate new courses, infuses ethics into technical courses, and work with project, research and industry teams to embed ethical consideration into their efforts in the pursuit of responsible progress.



Our Focus Areas

We focus on urgent, cutting-edge issues that are reshaping our society.


Digital Technology

The revolution in AI, machine learning, and social platforms raises important questions that are at the forefront of societal challenges. How can we address issues of security, privacy, and social impacts in an ethical manner?

What we're doing
Ethics Lab is convening an interdisciplinary group of experts in ethics, technology, law, and policy this fall for a one-day workshop to discuss digital ethics. The aim is to surface ethical issues and potential cautions/recommendations for sharing data across public and private sectors. A report of the workshop’s key recommendations for best practices will be passed on to the newly formed ADRF Network. The workshop, which is part of the University’s new Tech & Society Initiative, will be hosted at Georgetown’s Ethics Lab, and is supported by a grant from the Sloan Foundation.



Rapid technological progress is redefining the human condition, demanding that we balance its benefits with any associated risks. How should we understand our relationship with medical progress, and what frameworks do we need to adapt?

What we're doing
With a grant from Matthew and Jenae Ruesch, we are offering a new Disability Ethics Module within our Fall 2019 coursework. This module will prepare students to understand how the very definition of disability (and normalcy) impacts the just distribution of resources in society — and the way society treats those who happen to fall outside the norm.



Unprecedented partisan polarization, misinformation campaigns, and the prevalence of digital echo chambers threatens the immediate and long-term security of our democracy. How can we rebuild trust and mutual understanding between citizens to repair these divides?

What we're doing
This year, Ethics Lab is partnering with researchers, including at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, to explore how the public is affected by and interacting with the changing landscape of political dialogue. The results of these collaborations will be a new flagship course on Political Epistemology Across Digital Divides, available to undergraduate and graduate students, with exportable curricular elements. The course will focus on investigating threats to traditional ways of thinking, weaponized skepticism, and deep disagreements in order to identify constructive paths for building trust between citizens.



Funding Partners





Ethics Lab / Georgetown is a winner of the Mozilla Foundation’s Responsible Computer Science Challenge!


New Courses for spring 2020: Introduction to Bioethics and Political Epistemology


Ethics Lab student awarded grant to research privacy and voting rights