Emerging Technologies

This section of the OEC contains cases, essays, ethical guidelines, and other materials bearing on the specific ethical issues arising from numerous emerging technologies. It addresses the professional responsibilities of engineers and scientists ranging over numerous fields.

The materials themselves vary significantly in structure. Some are discussion cases that present open-ended situations requiring a response. Some are descriptions of completed actions. Some of these are actual cases such as the David LaMacchia case or Therac-25 case. Many cases are at least loosely based on real incidents, in order to give a realistic impression of the moral problems that face engineers and scientists.

  • Cases

    (Resource Collection)

    Cases, scenarios and role plays, some with commentary, focusing on issues surrounding the development of new technology. These cases are housed in our Case Database, but are included here for an easier topical search.

  • Essays & Articles

    (Resource Collection)

    Essays, articles, and student projects concerning the use and development of new technologies.

  • Specific Technologies

    (Resource Collection)

    Sections with information about ethics in specific emerging fields such as synthetic biology, military technology, nanotech and information technologies.

  • Risk and Innovation

    (Resource Collection)

    This section contains resources specific to new technologies and emerging risks including identification, assessment, management, and communication.

  • Other Resources

    (Resource Collection)

    A variety of other resources and links related to ethics in the development and use of new technologies.

Cite this page: "Emerging Technologies" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 7/28/2009 National Academy of Engineering Accessed: Friday, March 27, 2015 <www.onlineethics.org/Topics/EmergingTech.aspx>

In the News
The top 10 emerging technologies for 2012 - A list of some of the  technology trends that will "have the greatest impact on the state of the world in the near future."

Synthetic Biology Workshop
  • Workshop Notes on Synthetic Biology and Engineering Ethics

    This page includes notes from a workshop held at the National Academy of Engineering on September 30th 2010. The workshop posed the question “How can engineering ethics contribute to the positive potential of the new field of synthetic biology?” It brought together synthetic biology researchers and experts in engineering ethics and science and technology studies (STS), to examine how research and educational activities can help to achieve those positive goals.