The Research Ethics Program serves as a resource for the campus community to identify and address ethical challenges intrinsic to the conduct of science, engineering, and other academic scholarship.

Ethics Consultation

Coronavirus Pandemic

There are many ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is raising new and challenging ethical issues. If you have questions regarding research ethics, clinical ethics, or bioethics, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to find resources that might help.



Case of the Month

Although the Zika virus has been known for many years, concern has increased dramatically in recent months because of the risk of congenital microcephaly in children born to mothers infected with Zika. Because Zika is carried by mosquitoes, one approach to preventing Zika is to target the mosquitoes. New developments in genetic engineering are being proposed as a means to control mosquito populations.

  • If the Zika-carrying species of mosquito could be severely limited, if not eliminated, by engineering male mosquitoes to produce offspring that would not survive, should we do so?
  • If genetic engineering could shift a population of mosquitoes so that it could no longer carry the virus, should we do so?
  • If genetically modified mosquitoes were to be released in a community, what percent of the community would have to agree to doing so before choosing to act?


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