Commented University Calendar

Ethics for Engineers

Course Units (new window)


Anne Katrin Finger, Gunnar Jeremias

Course Format:

2 hours Seminar


Winter Semester



Recommended Previous Knowledge:

Elementary knowledge of current debates about technological developments in medicine, the biosciences and physics, and a willingness to discuss advantages and disadvantages of such developments in an open manner.


  • Social, moral, legal, environmental and economic issues related to contemporary scientific activities.
  • Ethical dilemmas in the natural sciences.
  • Scientific and ethical dimensions of current problems concerning international security such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.
  • Codes of conduct as guidelines for responsible behaviour

Learning Outcomes:

  • Awareness of being responsible for technological change and its consequences
  • The seminar will help future natural scientists and engineers to act responsibly in a future key position and to get a clearer understanding of the meaning of ethics, moral issues and responsibility.
  • Ethical theories from the Greek philosophers to the modern thinkers of the late 20th century make it possible for the participants to gain an insight into the ethical side of their future professions and develop skills in handling ethical conflicts.

Reading Resources:

Zilinskas, Raymond (ed.): The Microbiologist and Biological Defense Research. Ethics, Politics, and International Security, The New York Academy of Sciences, New York 1992.

Seltzer, Jennifer (ed.): Science, Technology, and Ethical Priorities, Student Pugwash USA, Washington 1997.

Bloemers, Wolf: Ethics and Social Justice, Frankfurt am Main 2003

Performance Record:

Presentation and compilation of a paper


58 hours total

Credit points of this module can be found in the course plan for the corresponding course of study.

Back to overview