Campus conversations about professional and societal ethics

The Ethics Café at Notre Dame offers a space in which to learn about ethical issues pertaining to responsible conduct of research, professional conduct, and engagement with the public, and other worldly matters and current events. Sponsored by the Reilly Center, Graduate School, and Office of Research, Ethics Cafés seek to encourage conversation, debate, and interaction.  

Everyone is welcome. Refreshments are served.

Events for Spring 2015

Ethical Leadership


Tuesday, February 3, 1:00-2:00 PM, Geddes Hall Coffee House

What does it mean to be an ethical leader? What can leaders do to promote an organizational culture that prioritizes ethical conduct and outcomes and resists the everyday pressures of self-interested short-term thinking? Join us for a conversation exploring the role of ethics in leadership and learn about new leadership training opportunities for graduate students at Notre Dame. 

Presenters are: 


Events for Fall 2014

Sexual Violence and Misconduct: Reality Check

ethics cafe, professional development, poster, sexual misconduct, harrassment

Tuesday, September 23, 1:00-2:00 PM, Geddes Hall Coffee House 

Join Dr. Bill Stackman, Associate Vice President for Student Services and Title IX Coordinator, for a conversation on sexual violence and misconduct. Learn about attitudes and perceptions, recent statistics both locally and nationally, as well as the system for managing cases at the University of Notre Dame. 

Let's Stop Talking About Civility

Tuesday, October 28, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Geddes Hall Coffee House

John Duffy, an Associate Professor of English, will reflect on and discuss public discourse. Dr. Duffy has published on the ethics of writing, the rhetoric of disability, and the historical development of literacy and rhetoric in cross-cultural contexts. 

Spring 2014


Communities and Complexities: The Ethics of Community-Based Research

Thursday, March 20, 11:00 AM—12:00 PM, Geddes Hall Coffee House

Engaging in research projects with community partners introduces unique and challenging ethical tensions. Such tensions may develop around issues of power, control, confidentiality, mutuality, and transparency. Special considerations emerge as well for community-based researchers as they seek institutional review board approval of their projects. Attendees will discuss relevant case examples and consider strategies and best practices for ensuring institutional approval of community-based research projects. James Frabutt and Jay Brandenberger host. 

The Challenges and Ethics of Global Development Research

Thursday, April 24, 11:00 AM—12:00 PM, Geddes Hall Coffee House


Join hosts Juan Carlos Guzman, Ph.D. and Michael Sweikar, J.D., MA of the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development for a discussion of research projects in Indonesia, Uganda, Haiti, Burkina Faso, and other countries. Researchers face many challenges and ethical considerations when working in developing countries. Is it ethical to set up a comparison study when a section of the population will not receive needed interventions? What are the ethical implications for implementing development projects that do not result in positive outcomes? What are the requirements for conducting human subject research in Africa?


Fall 2013

See the poster for all Ethics Café events for fall semester 2013.  

Copyright: What are your rights and obligations?

Ethics Cafe, fall 2013, copyright

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
2:30 - 3:30 PM
O'Shaughnessy Hall 201

Are you concerned about your rights to your own published work? Are you unsure what constitutes fair use? Bring your questions and concerns about copyright issues to this Ethics Café to hear various perspectives about your rights to your work and when using the work of others. The panelists are:

Graduate students can register for this professional development event online

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty


Friday, November 1, 2013
10:00 – 11:30 AM
The Fishbowl in Hesburgh Library

Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College, will discuss his latest book Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013).

When students engage in academically dishonest behaviors, they are reacting inappropriately to a learning environment that has not sufficiently captured their attention or motivated them to learn. Dr. Lang will address how to gain a better understanding of the reasons for academically dishonest behavior and use that knowledge to build better learning environments. Drawing on research in cognitive theory, Dr. Lang describes the differences between how novice learners process and understand new information and ideas, and how their processes differ from those of the experts who are teaching them. Recognizing these differences may help design courses, units, or assignments that foster more richly connected knowledge networks within students. 
Kaneb Center logo

The Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning is hosting this event. Graduate students can register for this professional development event online.


How Businesses Can Promote Cyber Peace


Wednesday, November 13, 2013 
3:00 – 4:00 PM
O'Shaughnessy Hall 201

Cyber threats are increasingly impacting the bottom lines of firms and spilling over into larger issues of geopolitical importance including international security.  But so far surveys have revealed that few businesses are taking the necessary steps to safeguard their private data and enhance cybersecurity. Given the slow progress of both U.S. Congressional and multilateral cybersecurity policymaking, the time is ripe for a fresh perspective on how firms can help proactively foster cyber peace in a world increasingly being drawn into cyber conflict.

Join Scott Shackelford for a discussion exploring the positive role businesses can play in conflict dynamics.  Shackelford specializes in cybersecurity law and policy, sustainable development, and global commons governance. He is an Assistant Professor of Business Law and Ethics at Indiana University and a fall 2013 fellow with the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.

Graduate students can register for this professional development event online.  


Spring 2013

Ethics Cafe Spring 2013

See series poster

Climate Change and Assisted Migration: What Obligations Do Humans Have to Species? 
Thursday, April 4, 2013 from 3:00-4:00 PM, Geddes Coffeehouse 
See event poster

How to Have Difficult Conversations: Tools and Strategies 
Monday, March 3, 2013 from 3:00-4:00 PM, Geddes Coffeehouse

How are Unmanned Weapons Changing the Ethics of Waging War?
Monday, February 4, 2013 from 3:00-4:00 PM, Geddes Coffeehouse
See event poster

Fall 2012

See series poster

Why Do We Fail to Do What's Right and What Can We Do About it? 
Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 12:30-1:30 PM, Geddes Coffeehouse

How Do We Build a Collaborative Learning Community? 
Thursday, October 4, 2012 from 12:30-1:30 PM, Geddes Coffeehouse

What would you do? A Discussion of The Insider
Thursday, September 6, 2012 from 12:30-1:30 PM, Geddes Coffeehouse