Ethics in Technology

Ethics in Technology was the second installation of Ethics for UBC, a five-part speaker series that explores the current landscape of ethics scholarship and education across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses of our university.

This panel discussion focused on ethics across a variety of disciplines that involve technology, from engineering and architecture to neuroscience and nursing.

Date: February 23, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM PST
Via Zoom

For more information about the other Ethics for UBC sessions, please visit:

Welcome by: Gail Murphy, PhD; Professor, Computer Science; Vice President – Research and Innovation, University of British Columbia

Moderated by: Ari Rotenberg, BAMSc Candidate, Experimental Medicine; Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia 


  • Shahria Alam, PhD; Professor, School of Engineering; Director, Green Construction Research Training Centre, University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus
  • Fionn Byrne, MLA; Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia
  • Julie Robillard, PhD; Assistant Professor of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine; Faculty, Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia
  • Patricia Rodney, PhD; Associate Professor Emerita, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia


Break-out Sessions Highlights:

Break-out session with Dr. Shahria Alam:

      • Key ethical issues in civil engineering have changed over time as the regulations that govern engineering practice in British Columbia have changed.
      • Academia is a more conducive space for advancing innovation in sustainable building technologies than industry.

Break-out session with Prof. Fionn Byrne:

      • Landscape architects are committed to environmental betterment, but untangling what “environmental betterment” looks like often depends on many contextual factors.
      • Value of acknowledging ongoing debates and conflicting opinions of land use and weighing the pros and cons of potential actions.

Break-out session with Dr. Julie Robillard:

      • Social technologies have dramatically changed the ways in which we communicate.
      • Clinicians are apprehensive about the integration of AI-based medical technology into the patient care continuum; continued, collaborative efforts are required to adapt regulatory frameworks around these devices.

Break-out session with Dr. Patricia Rodney:

      • Value of bringing an interdisciplinary approach to tackling complex questions in ethics.
      • Importance of empathetic acknowledgement, trust-building, and understanding family dynamics and challenges faced by patients before negotiating a way forward in end-of-life decision-making.

Recommended Resource Materials:

  • Books by Dr. Nuala P. Kenny
  • Neuroethics Canada Blog (link)
  • Research Ethics by Gary Comstock (link)
  • Centre for Applied Ethics Fellowship program (link)