McGinn's general research area is "technology and society," a field devoted to study of social, cultural, ethical, and policy issues raised by contemporary developments in science and technology. His specific research area is "ethics, science, and technology," a specialty within applied ethics that is devoted to study of both ethical issues that arise in the practice of contemporary science, technology, and engineering, and ethical issues raised by the diffusion of technical innovations into society.
About Professor McGinn
Robert McGinn is Professor (Teaching) of Management Science and Engineering. He received a B.S. in Unified Science and Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, a M.S. in mathematics at Stanford, and a Ph.D. in philosophy and the history of ideas, also at Stanford. Apart from a year at Bell Laboratories in 1978-79, McGinn has been at Stanford since 1971.
His academic specialties are ethical issues in engineering workplaces; technology in society; ethics, science, and technology; and ethics and public policy. McGinn’s publications include Science, Technology, and Society (Prentice-Hall, 1991) and articles in scholarly journals such as Professional Ethics; Technology and Culture; Science, Technology, and Human Values; Science and Engineering Ethics; and Nanoethics.
From 1995 to 2011, Prof. McGinn served as director or co-director of the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program at Stanford. He is coordinator of the School of Engineering's Technology in Society (TIS) Requirement.
McGinn is currently conducting research on ethical issues related to nanotechnology for the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), for which he serves as Ethics Investigator. He is also Social and Ethical Issues Coordinator for the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF). From 2004-07, he conducted a large-scale study of the views of researchers working in nanotech laboratories at thirteen U.S. universities about ethical issues related to their work. He is currently conducting two survey-based studies of SNF users with the aim of gauging their awareness of ethical responsibilities of researchers in the lab, in interacting with social institutions, and vis-a-vis society at large.
McGinn has received research grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Marshall Fund, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1996, he received the Stanford Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 1997, he received the Dinkelspiel Award for Exceptional Contributions to Undergraduate Education.
An enthusiastic bicyclist Interested in the protection of human-made and natural environments, as well as in classical music and opera, modern architecture and painting, and the languages and cultures of western Europe, Robert McGinn resides in Palo Alto, California. His son, Brian, is a documentary film maker.
Professor McGinn will be on sabbatical leave in academic year 2012-13.
His CV can be dowloaded here.
E 130: Science, Technology, and Contemporary Society
E 131: Ethical Issues in Engineering
E 204: Research Ethics for Engineers and Scientists
MS&E 197: Ethics and Public Policy
STS 101Q: Technology in Contemporary Society
Last modified Tue, 28 May, 2013 at 9:12
|Discernment and Denial: Nanotechnology Researchers' Recognition of Ethical Responsibilities Related to Their Work||McGinn, R.E.||Nanoethics||04-2013|
|What Is Different, Ethically, About Nanotechnology? Foundational Questions and Answers||McGinn, R. E.||Nanoethics||08-2010|
|Ethical Responsibilities of Nanotechnology Researchers: A Short Guide||McGinn, R. E.||Nanoethics||04-2010|
|Ethics and Nanotechnology: Views of Nanotechnology Researchers||McGinn, R. E.||Nanoethics||07-2008|
|The Art of the Invisible: Achievements, Social Benefits, and Challenges of Nanotechnology||Tiwari, S.; McGinn, R. E.||Frontiers of Knowledge||01-2008|
|Ethical Issues in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Reflections and Suggestions||McGinn, R. E.||01-2006|
|'Mind the Gaps': An Empirical Approach to Engineering Ethics, 1997-2001||McGinn, R. E.||Science and Engineering Ethics||10-2003|
|Navigating Rough Waters: Ethical Issues in the Water Industry||McGinn, R. E.; Davis, C. K.||01-2001|
|Expectations and Experiences of Ethical Issues in Engineering: A Survey of Stanford Engineering Students and Practicing Engineers||McGinn, R. E.||Online Ethics Center For Engineering and Science||03-1999|
|Optimization, Option Disclosure, and Problem Redefinition: Derivative Moral Obligations of Engineers and the Case of the Composite-Material Bicycle||McGinn, R. E.||Professional Ethics||01-1997|
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- Tau Beta Pi
- Sigma Xi (Associate Member)
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
- Andrew J. Mellon Foundation Faculty Research Grant
- Norwegian Marshall Fund Grant for Visiting Faculty
- Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Teaching Prize, California Beta Chapter, Stanford University (1996)
- Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, California Gamma Chapter, Stanford University (1996)
- Perin Award for Undergraduate Engineering Education (1997)
- Dinkelspiel Award For Exceptional Contributions to Undergraduate Education (1997)