Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Ethics of Academia (6) - Helen de Cruz

In this episode I chat to Helen de Cruz. Helen is the Danforth Chair in Humanities at the University of St. Louis. Helen has a diverse set of interests and outputs. Her research focuses on the philosophy of belief formation, but she also does a lot of professional and public outreach, writes science fiction, and plays the lute. If that wasn't impressive enough, she is also a very talented illustrator/artist, as can be seen from her book Philosophy Illustrated. We have a wide-ranging conversation about the ethics of research, teaching, public outreach and professional courtesy. Some of the particular highlights from the conversation are her thoughts on prestige bias in academia and the crisis of peer reviewing.

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  1. I have been reading many things regarding academic ethics. I agree this is important, insofar as it has implications in a variety of social applications. What puzzles me is a perceived dearth of ethical behavior in and among other of our institutional environments, many of which appear to adopt laissez faire attitudes towards a foundational aspect of civilized humanity. Yes, I know there is pressure to survive, perform and succeed: never apologize, it is a sign of weakness; when in doubt, cheat, and so on. Those who espouse ethical behavior do not care well in an unethical world. What do we do about that?

  2. Beg your indulgence. That t was fair, or fare. Not care. So much for spell check. That once worked---pretty well sometimes. Think-check? Not so well...let's not get too excited about AI, OK?