Virginia Tech researchers David Schmale and David Lally, working in conjunction with high school teachers Cindy Bohland and Michael Collver, have been funded by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment and Fralin Life Science Institute to develop an ethics education module to engage local high school students. This is one of a cluster of interdisciplinary projects recently developed in association with the ISCE Applied Ethics Initiative to examine ethical issues related to development of new autonomous vehicle technologies. Some potential uses of AVTs include driverless cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, and underwater and space exploration modules.
As one of Virginia Tech’s premier research investment institutes, the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment fosters and facilitates interdisciplinary research and creative efforts in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. To strengthen the university’s competitive position in the social sciences and humanities, ISCE provides organizational, technical, and financial support for targeted research and educational endeavors that address issues of social and individual transformation. Participants in ISCE’s Applied Ethics Initiative are involved interdisciplinary collaborations on topics with real-world ethical dimensions.