E 125 Engineering Ethics and Society

Prof. Raluca Scarlat, scarlat@berkeley.edu

Spring 2020, 3 units

CCN: 31201

Lecture: MW 10:00 – 11:00am, 310 Jacobs Design Institute

 Discussion: F 10:00-11:00am, 145 Moffit Library

The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines.

For the College of Engineering and the College of Letters & Science, this course satisfies humanities and social sciences breath requirements (including the philosophy and values, and social and behavioral sciences breath areas). For BioE, EECS, and NE, E125 satisfies the ethics requirement.


How can we identify and analyze ethical issues in engineering?

How do leave room for rapid and disruptive innovation while
responsibly considering the impact of technology on society and identifying the new ethical challenges that arise?

This course provides an introduction to how theories, concepts, and methods from the humanities and social science can be applied to ethical problems in engineering. Assignments involve a combination of group and independent research projects that are designed to empower students to engage in engineering ethics issues. Students will have opportunities to contribute novel findings to the emerging academic field of engineering ethics while building their analytical and communication skills. This course uses a variety of pedagogical approaches to make ethics explicit and central in engineering, especially to advanced students who are in the process of defining their societal roles.


  • Identify and analyze ethical issues in science and engineering
  • Apply theoretical and conceptual tools from the humanities and social sciences to engineering problems
  • Understand professional responsibilities
  • Lead and contribute to ethics discussions
  • Engage in peer review
  • Assess and direct one’s own learning
  • Develop communication and presentation skills
  • Work effectively in a multidisciplinary group