Teaching Ethics to Computer Science and Engineering Students – Experiences, Current Issues and Future Challenges

Save the date! On September 22nd, the Ethics4EU Project will organize a workshop on Teaching Ethics to Computer Science and Engineering Students – Experiences, Current Issues and Future Challenges.

The event, organized by Chalmers University of Technology, will include contributions from experts in teaching Digital Ethics to Computer Science and Engineering students and a workshop to share experiences and ideas for the future.

Participants will be given access to newly designed resources to facilitate them in teaching ethics in their CS and engineering modules.


If you’re working in Higher Education, either as a lecturer, professor, researcher, or PhD student, and have an interest in Digital Ethics, this event is for you! If you are thinking of introducing Digital Ethics lectures in your modules/courses, this event will give you insights on how to do access open source resources for your courses and modules. You’ll have a chance to meet and network with researchers and lecturers across Europe who aim at introducing Digital Ethics in Computer Science Higher Education programmes and have a privileged access to our Community of Practice!

This event might also be of interest to students in Computer Science Faculties that feel Digital Ethics should be introduced in their courses or that wish to understand its importance.

Any questions? Get in touch with us at ethics4eu@gmail.com


Dr. Viola Schiaffonati
is associate professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria. She holds a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Università di Genova. She has been visiting scholar at the Department of Philosophy of the University of California at Berkeley and visiting researcher at the Suppes Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology of the Stanford University. She teaches Computer Ethics, Philosophical Issues of Computer Science, Bioethics, Ethics Seminar.

Get in touch!

Dr. Karl de Fine Licht, a PhD in Practical Philosophy, is Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Technology at Chalmers University of Technology and is currently engaged in course development and training of teachers in the field of ethics and engineering. He also holds courses on the intermediate and advanced levels on the same subject. His research is mainly about social sustainability in urban development and artificial intelligence in public decision-making. Before he received his permanent position at Chalmers, Karl had a permanent position as researcher and project manager at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), as well as a teacher and a researcher at University of Gothenburg, Uppsala university, and KTH Royal institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Get in touch!


12:00 Ireland / 13:00 CEST – Welcome  Dympna O’Sullivan (TU Dublin), Paul Gibson & Stephane Maag (Télécom SudParis)

The welcoming section will include a demo of our open access resources for including Digital Ethics modules in Computer Science and Engineering programmes.

12:30 Ireland / 13:30 CEST – Why and how teaching ethics to CS and engineering students: current issues and future challenges – Dr. Viola Schiaffonati (Politecnico di Milano)

By presenting some experiences in teaching ethics to engineering students at Politecnico di Milano, Viola will focus on the issues and challenges of integrating humanities and social sciences in the scientific and engineering curricula.

13:00 Ireland / 14:00 CEST – Teaching ethics to teachers and engineering students: some reflections on the upshots and downsides when walking a tightrope between puzzle-solving and despair – Dr. Karl de Fine Licht (Chalmers University of Technology)

In this talk Karl will share some of their experiences from teaching ethics to teachers as well as students in a wide range of contexts. Karl will provide both concrete examples on what they do when they teach, as well as describe the challenges they have met, and to some extent how they have dealt with them.

13:30 Ireland / 14:30 CEST – Coffee Break


13:40 Ireland / 14:40 CEST – Teaching a Course on New Technologies, Global Risk and the Future of Humanity – Olle Häggström (Chalmers University of Technology)

Every year since 2015, Olle has given the course “New Technologies, Global Risk and the Future of Humanity” at Chalmers University of Technology. The course is project-centered and aimed at prompting the students to think seriously about major challenges facing humanity in relation to emerging and future technologies in biotech, nanotech, AI and other areas. A key aspect to make the course successful is to help the students integrate science and engineering aspects with ethics and the analysis of social consequences, and Olle will sketch how they go about this task.

13:55 Ireland / 14:55 CEST – AI Ethics Through Fiction – Kathryn Strong Hansen (Chalmers University of Technology)

Kathryn has served as an instructor for an interdisciplinary course that uses fiction to discuss ethical issues with AI and other technological developments here at Chalmers. The talk Kathryn will give provides an overview of this course, explaining why fiction is beneficial as a springboard for ethical discussion and reflection. The talk will also include suggestions of literary, filmic, and televisual fictions that raise real and speculative ethical issues with AI.

14:10 Ireland / 15:10 CEST – Applied Machine Learning: Machine Learning and Ethics – Vilhelm Verendel (Chalmers University of Technology)

For a few years now, Vilhelm has helped teaching ideas from ethics to engineering students with CS as well as other backgrounds. Vilhelm will share a few lessons learned, including how to rapidly show students how different ethical perspectives can be, how to get discussions started, and bridging abstract philosophical ideas with practical problems.

14:25 Ireland / 15:25 CEST – Learning from Teaching Ethics at Mälardalen University and Chalmers University of Technology – Gordana Dodig Crnkovic (Chalmers University of Technology and Mälardalen University)

During more than twenty years, starting 2001 at Mälardalen University, Gordana has been teaching students of Computer Science, Engineering, Interaction Design and occasionally Economics in courses “Professional ethics” at Mälardalen University (Bachelor, Master and PhD levels) (2001-2014), and “Research Ethics and Sustainable Development” at Chalmers University of Technology (PhD level) 2014-2017. During the years Gordana had regular guest lectures in Professional Ethics, Ethics of Computing, Ethics of AI, Design Ethics, Ethics for Cognitive Scientists, Robotic Ethics and Ethics of Autonomous Cars. In this talk Gordana will present lessons learned, illustrated by concrete examples from my courses, sketching briefly future possibilities, anticipations and hopes for further developments.

14:40 Ireland / 15:40 CEST – Coffee Break

14:50 Ireland / 15:50 CEST – Workshop

15:20 Ireland / 16:20 CEST – Conclusion with highlights from the workshop

16:00 Ireland / 17:00 CEST – End of the event