Neely Center Ethics Competition

Posted: October 21, 2017, 9:52am

Having studied engineering for undergraduate at USC, I’ve always been surprised and disappointed at the lack of ethic classes available or required for our coursework. Of course, we already have more units than a majority of other majors, but engineers deal with societal problems that have drastic consequences if solved indifferently. Every single engineering program has its own set of unique ethical issues: aerospace and mechanical engineers build mass transportation vehicles and weapons, biomedical engineers can drastically impact healthcare and quality of life, civil engineers are responsible for solid infrastructure and safe buildings, computer programmers handle massive stores of personal data, and the list goes on. These are obviously extremely serious subjects, but the only time we ever broach them is in a writing class.

This year, however, USC finally founded a new center specifically dedicated to advancing the practice of ethical, legal, and effective leadership. Run by the Marshall School of Business, the Sol Price School of Public Policy, and the Viterbi School of Engineering, The Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making serves as an incubator for research “focused on personal, societal, and business ethics, corporate culture, public policy ethics, and engineering ethics arising from the intersections of humans and technology.” They also offer education courses as well as conferences to further spread the importance of making decisions in an ethically sensitive way. Along this same thread, they’re hosting a student competition that encourages current students to investigate a subject of their choice and package their reflections in a written article, presentation, or video. If you’re interested in learning more about their submissions, they will all be available at the annual Next Generation Ethics Conference in March! Make sure to keep up with their events at!

Published on October 21st, 2017

Last updated on April 1st, 2021