CODE OF ETHICS
Create your moral compass. Navigate the future.
Ethics has been defined as “the nature of the good and the science of the right.” While this definition aims to ground what is “good” and “right” in laws of nature and science, our understanding of these laws are often themselves evolving or subject to interpretation. In an exponentially changing world, driven by technological advances, ethics becomes a critical domain of multidimensional human thought and action.
The Viterbi School’s mission is “to engineer a better world for all humanity.” As future engineers, you are learning to guide the evolution of technology in ways which are useful and beneficial. To do so, you must develop a strong moral compass and an ethical mindset. Learning about ethics and formulating ethical viewpoints and positions will help you prepare for life as an engineer, to address unprecedented future challenges and to avert the unintended consequences of rapidly evolving technology. By clarifying your own ethics and building awareness of future scenarios, you can hone the decision-making skills to lead in thought and action. Developing an analytical approach to the ethical issues pertinent to your field will allow you to engage meaningfully in its discourse and to assume leadership positions.
This assignment consists of 3 parts, in which you will: clarify and articulate your own code of ethics; link your core values with a diverse array of sources; and develop a framework for enacting your code.
Part 1: Code of Ethics (Code You)
In this part of the assignment, you will create an original code of ethics, based on your own unique values. Your code of ethics will consist of values integrated and connected in a cohesive and systematic way; much like code tells the computer what to do, your code of ethics drives your behavior and actions. The code should be 1 full page, single-spaced document written in first person. The rhetorical style is formal, proclamatory, and declarative. The code should be an enduring and foundational document, both elegantly written and flexibly applied. The purpose of this communication is to articulate your code clearly and be able to readily communicate it to others.
Part 2: Code Context
Here you will give your code texture and context by meaningfully linking each of the values in your code with a diverse array of sources. Sources might be figures who have shaped your values or simply references to people who share or exhibit them. This part should be a 1-2 page description or graphic display in which you correspond each of your values with another person who shares that value. The purpose of this communication is to show that while your code is a unique system as a whole, the individual values that comprise it provide sustainable points of connection with people from all walks of life. Identifying shared values helps you connect with others, situate yourself in an ethical support “web,” create team alignment, and build common ground. Recognizing values which do not align with yours is also useful because it helps you seriously consider other people’s points of view and learn through diversity.
Refer to 1 source from each of the following categories:
A person who is close to you, such as a family member or a friend
A professional role model or mentor
A company’s code of ethics
A historical figure or hero
A professional society’s code of ethics
A philosopher or ethicist
A person who is currently famous or newsworthy
Part 3: Code Action
In this part of the assignment, you will establish an ethical framework for putting your code into action and applying it to a specific future purpose. Choose a current and controversial ethical issue which is pertinent to your field. Research the different facets of the issue and the positions that 4-5 prominent people in the field have taken on it. Formulate your own stance on the issue based on facts, knowledge and sound analysis. Your position should reflect a perspective or a point of view. That means it is more robust than an opinion and that it contributes something new to the existing landscape of thought on the issue, well-situated within a fundamental knowledge base and the established positions of others. Communicate your position clearly, precisely and confidently. Your goal is not necessarily to persuade your audience, but to put forth a valuable perspective on a key issue. This part should be about 6 pages long, double spaced. Use MLA citation format. The purpose of this communication is to build your awareness of the pressing issues in your field and to help prepare you to enter those conversations equipped with frameworks for future action and leadership.
Steps to progress on this assignment:
Brainstorm/list out your values.
Map your values into a system or code, a “moral compass.”
Proclaim values in a formal code of ethics.
Collect references for shared values.
Create values matrix and situate self within it.
Choose a pertinent issue or dilemma and research it.
Gather viewpoints of prominent people in the field on issue.
Develop your own perspective on issue and articulate it.
Add to the conversation at the “leadership roundtable.”
Evaluation of assignment:
The Code of Ethics rubric will be used to grade the assignment. All parts of the assignment will be reviewed and discussed. Iterative feedback will be given during the writing process.
Point value: 100
Due date: 3/6 by midnight. Please submit through Blackboard.
CODE OF ETHICS