How to Be an Ethical Engineer in an Often Unethical World: Integrated Interdisciplinary Education in the Sciences and Humanities

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Catholic colleges and universities traditionally are grounded in liberal arts education, yet many Catholic institutions also educate future scientists and engineers. We propose that a distinctively Catholic science and engineering education should include an emphasis on Catholic concepts of the common good and social justice, liberal arts education that enriches and informs science and engineering practice and vice versa, and commitment to service. Moreover, we propose that Catholic colleges consider implementing curricular changes designed to bring the humanistic and technical disciplines into closer alignment. New curricula could include a capstone undergraduate course that draws on interdisciplinary faculty with the goal of giving science and engineering students the tools needed to be ethical practitioners in a frequently unethical world. Such a course would also provide humanists with a better understanding of the technological world in which we all live, enabling graduates to make well-informed decisions throughout their lives.

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