The Reilly Center supports original research, educational programming, and interdisciplinary collaboration that examines the impacts of science and technology on society.
We have identified three priority program areas that contribute to the Reilly Center’s mission and commitment to providing educational programming in communication, policy, and ethics.
- The Ethics of Emerging Technologies
- People, Policy, and the Environment
- Health, Culture, and Society
We recognize and seek to highlight connections between these program areas. The Reilly Center brings public attention to its program areas by releasing an Annual List of Emerging Ethical Dilemmas and Policy Issues in Science and Technology in December and creating lists of resources for each item.
The Ethics of Emerging Technologies
The development and use of new technologies influence how humans interact with each other and their environment. For ethics and policy to be in pace with science and technology, we must think critically about the potential impacts of new discoveries and devices during the research and development process.
The Reilly Center is continuously expanding its attention into new topics in the ethics and policy of emerging technologies and has long had a research focus on Emerging Technologies of National Security and Intelligence (aka ETNSI or Weapon’s Ethics).
People, Policy, and the Environment
Through People, Policy, and the Environment, the Reilly Center explores the cultural, political, ethical, and economic forces in relation to the environmental impacts of scientific and technological innovation. We recognize that understanding how these forces influence the practice of science and the deployment of technology is complex and contested. At the most general level, we seek to examine the varied interactions between society, science, and the natural world. We partner with researchers across the Notre Dame campus to raise essential questions about ethics and values, and to analyze questions about sustainability from the perspective of many different disciplines. Our goal is to help scholars and policy-makers sustain Earth’s precious resources for generations to come. The relationship between humans and the natural world has never been more important to the well-being of both people and planet. Environmental degradation in the form of deteriorating water and air quality, shrinking forests and wildlife habitats, loss of biodiversity, and a warming planet are manifestations of human damage to Earth’s essential support systems.
Health, Culture, and Society
Human health and disease is shaped by historical, cultural, social, environmental, economic and political factors. The Health, Culture, and Society research initiative explores factors impeding or promoting health and welfare, and by extension, human dignity, past and present. We explore the social and scientific factors that need to be taken into consideration before the responsible application of technological innovation.
The Reilly Center brings together faculty, students, and staff interested in both the conceptual and policy issues related to health and disease. Through this initiative, we offer courses, support research, and host events that showcase the background knowledge necessary in understanding the relationships between health, culture, and society.