We all know how difficult it can be to have an honest conversation with members of certain professions. Two examples come immediately to mind: corporate chieftains and politicians. We think this is especially true when the honest conversation we all wish for--is about ethics and some of the ethical dilemmas corporate execs and elected officials commonly face in their work.    

A national election year allows for both sagacious and salacious talk about ethics issues in the political arena. While most ethics talk fitfully follows what voters lose from negative and false political advertising, and superficially attends to the profound ethical dilemmas posed by the increasing link between income and political inequality, we think the local political arena offers some of the best insights about political ethics issues that impact us all.

On the day when Detroit area citizens voted for a new millage to sustain critical funding for exhibits and educational programs at one of the city's greatest treasures, The Detroit Institute of Arts, we talked with cultural journalist Jennifer Conlin, founder and editor of CriticCar Detroit--a creative project in itself--designed to sustain the arts via breaking and on-the-scene audien

One of the first resources A2Ethics offered on our website was a map showing permanent ethics initiatives distinguishing our state. Notably unique among them in our view was--and still remains--The Center for Law, Ethics and Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The Center was founded in 2005 and is directed by Peter Jacobson, Professor of Health Law and Policy.

There are so many ways to present the fascinating curatorial work, teaching and original research of Finn Brunton, Assistant Professor of Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, and author of the forthcoming book--Spam: A Flood, A Theory, A History (MIT Press). 

Before A2Ethics talked with Darlene Wahlberg, an IRB administrator for St. Joseph Mercy Health Care System, we had to get her informed consent. We thought it meant getting her to talk with us about her responsibility for managing and documenting the work of one of St. Joseph Mercy's Institutional Review Boards. Institutional Review Boards, more commonly known as IRBs, have been part of the structure of health care and foundations of medical ethics for forty years.

Education continues to command political and public attention; elementary and secondary school reform is frequently mentioned when Americans are asked about what changes are necessary to ensure America's place in the world. 

Even so, amidst all the interest in educational reform, very little has been said about its ethics: that is, whether the most popular reforms offer principled approaches that serve individual students' best interests and the common good of schools and communities. 

Rich Robinson, Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network has spent the last twelve years investigating the massive infusion of money into politics and its influence not only on politicians and politics, but on how it has changed who governs and holds political power in our state. 

There are many centers doing ethics work and contributing to the growing global "ethics economy." As far as we know, however, there is only one center which combines study of bioethical issues with the social sciences in medicine. Notably, it is in Michigan--at the University of Michigan Medical School--and known as CBSSM, a felicitous acronym for The Center for Bioethics and the Social Sciences in Medicine.  

"If I major in philosophy or ethics, what will I be able to do? Other than teach?"

We didn't pose those questions to distinguished ethics teacher Brian Miller. Such questions would never occur to us. After all, what better life than teaching ethics and philosophy? 

Subscribe to Podcasts