University of Cincinnati’s Office of Research sets aside one week each year for Research + Innovation Week, a week-long celebration of disruptive ideas, applied solutions and the real-world impacts UC research, scholarship, and creative activities have on Cincinnati, the region, and beyond. Each year, they showcase the extraordinary research of their faculty and students who are having an impact on the communities we serve. In anticipation of the creation of the Ethics Center, last year one day of the week was set aside as “Ethics Day” and an Ethics in Action Award was established. When the Cincinnati Ethics Center officially launched in January we were tasked with programming 2022 Ethics Day on March 31.
The theme for Research + Innovation Week 2022 was Confronting Crisis, so it was important that we put together sessions that supported that theme. Andrew Cullison (Andy), Cincinnati Ethics Center Executive Director, decided to look at a few “crisis” or critical issues he felt our country and even the world is facing. One incredibly important issue is race, equity, and inclusion. Another is information crisis; how we go about getting knowledge about solving the world’s problems. A third has to do with all the innovations and technologies that we don’t know if they are going to be good or bad for us. Wrapped around all of those issues is his belief that you can’t confront crisis without ethical leadership. All of the sessions we formed connect to one of those issues and all are umbrellaed under the R+I theme Confronting Crisis.
During the week prior we held two Ethics Day preview sessions to help promote March 31. The first session was presented by Na’Tasha Webb-Prather, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Community Engagement, and Equity at University of Cincinnati College of Law. She lead an insightful conversation on Confronting Crisis: Educational Equity. The second session was presented by Dr. Eduardo Martinez, Assistant Professor, Philosophy University of Cincinnati, who led a discussion on Epistemic Virtue and the Misinformation Crisis.
Four back-to-back sessions filled out Ethics Day. The day began with Kristen Campbell, UC doctoral candidate pursuing a PhD in the Community and Organizational Research for Action (CORA) Program, presenting Leadership and Allyship. Her research focuses on Industrial and Organizational Psychology; more specifically her research investigates male allyship, leadership, leader identity, leadership training and development, and diversity. Cryptocurrency is probably one of the hottest technology trends growing in our country and the world. Michael Jones, an Associate Professor, Educator of Economics for UC, presented Ethical Issues in Cryptocurrency. Michael will be heading up the new Cryptoeconomics Lab at the new Digital Hub building currently under construction in Cincinnati. The Lab will be a physical space where researchers, students, and companies can study the impact of blockchain technology and digital assets on the future economy.
The only non-UC affiliated presenter was Jon Fortt, co-anchor of CNBC’s bi-coastal tech-focused program “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET/8AM-9AM PT); and creator of the weekly segments, “On the Other Hand” on “Squawk Box” and “Working Lunch” on “Power Lunch.” Jon presented Leadership in Crisis, which drew from his over two decades of experience covering leaders in the tech industry. Rounding out the day was a session entitled Ethics + Equity in Academic Publishing hosted by Andy and Elizabeth Scarpelli, Founding Director of the University of Cincinnati Press. Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic all sessions were virtual, but each had robost attendance.