Science, Technology, and Society Scholar Robert McGinn

Pondering Ethical Dilemmas, Neapolitan Folk Music, and Doing What You Love

Robert McGinn is a professor of management science and engineering, and of science, technology, and society at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1971. His academic specialties are ethical issues in engineering workplaces, technology in society, ethics, science, and technology, and ethics and public policy. Before participating in a panel on the future of public space, he talked art, jazz, and 19th-century Neapolitan folk songs in the Zócalo green room.

Will We Have Any Privacy After the Big Data Revolution?

Corporations Know More about Their Customers’ Lives Than Ever Before. But the Information Economy Doesn’t Have to Leave Us Exposed.

Does the rise of big data mean the downfall of privacy? Mobile technologies now allow companies to map our every physical move, while our online activity is tracked click by …

It’s Not Easy to Field an Ethical Fantasy Football Team

Why Doesn’t Anyone Know Who the Real Good Guys Are in the NFL?

Most people laughed when I told them that I was only drafting ethical players on my fantasy football team.

Now, three weeks into the season, the laughter has stopped.

I am …

With Great Scientific Power Comes Great Responsibility

If Synthetic Biology Allows Us to Play God, What are the Rules?

Synthetic biology has been called “genetic engineering on steroids.” It’s also been described as so difficult to pin down that five scientists would give you six different definitions. No matter …

Why Lying Matters

From Martha to Madoff, Perjurers Harm America

Perjury, journalist James B. Stewart likes to remind people, used to be punishable by having one’s tongue cut out or hanging by one’s ears in the pillory.

These days, perjury in …

Are Americans Becoming Less Ethical?

Three Experts Debate Whether We’re More Likely to Lie and Cheat

The number of prominent people who lie under oath has reached epic proportions, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart. And those lies, he says, hurt not only the …