The Integrity Project: New Directions for Ethics in Research

Two students working a lab
The Lincoln Center is developing a model of ethics education for lab-based research that brings the technical dimensions of scientific work into a more integral and generative relation with its ethical dimensions. Our model does this by recasting technical dimensions as more than the object of ethical concern, i.e. more than the scene and site of potential ethical (mis)conduct. In our model, the technical dimensions of science are the very means by which scientists, engineers, and other researchers can pursue and achieve growth in ethical capacities. By growth in ethical capacities, we mean growth in researchers’ ability to conduct their scientific lives in a manner they consider to be right, good, and worthwhile. Our model thus flips the energy of ethics education: rather than moving from ethics training to the constraint of conduct, it reimagines the conduct of research itself as a medium of ethical discovery and formation leading to greater integrity. This research brings together scientists, humanists, and technologists from across the university to explore these themes.

Moral Capital Development

students hands forming a circle
This project aims to articulate the conditions under which moral capital development is facilitated and enhanced. As the political philosopher Adam Smith noted in his seminal Theory of Moral Sentiments, “The wise and virtuous man is at all times willing that his own private interest should be sacrificed to the public interest of his own particular order or society.” That wisdom and virtue can be seen as constituting the moral capital of a community, capital that can then generate more prosperity and well being for society as a whole