Deborah G. Johnson
Deborah G. Johnson
Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences University of Virginia
Biography

Deborah G. Johnson is the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of the University of Virginia. Johnson received the John Barwise prize from the American Philosophical Association in 2004; the ACM SIGCAS Making a Difference Award in 2000; and the Sterling Olmsted Award from the Liberal Education Division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Johnson is the author/editor of four books: Computer Ethics (Prentice Hall, third edition, 2001); Computers, Ethics, and Social Values (co-edited with Helen Nissenbaum, Prentice Hall, 1995); Ethical Issues in Engineering (Prentice Hall, 1991); and Ethical Issues in the Use of Computers (co-edited with John Snapper, Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1985). She is currently at work on a grant from the National Science Foundation to integrate insights from the field of Science and Technology Studies with ethics.

Johnson has published over 50 papers in a variety of journals and edited volumes. Her papers have appeared in Communications of the ACM, Ethics, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, The Monist, and The Encyclopedia of Ethics. She co-edits the journal, Ethics and Information Technology published by Kluwer and co-edits a book series on Women, Gender, and Technology with S. Rosser and M.F. Fox for University of Illinois Press.

Johnson has taught courses on ethical theory; information technology, ethics, and policy; engineering ethics; and values and policy. During 1992-93 she was a visiting professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Operations Research of Princeton University where she worked on a National Science Foundation project on ethics and computer decision models. In 1994 and 1995 she received National Science Foundation funding to conduct workshops to prepare undergraduate faculty to teach courses and course modules on ethical and professional issues in computing. Then again during 2000-2003, she was co-principal investigator for another NSF grant that offered workshops on teaching computer ethics using the Web.

Active in professional organizations, Johnson has served as president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, president of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology (INSEIT), treasurer of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society, and chair of the American Philosophical Association Committee on Computers and Philosophy.

Commentaries
  • Deborah G. Johnson
    Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    University of Virginia
    Commentary: But For the Fear of What You Might Find Out
    Added 4/17/2006 10:36 AM

    Deborah G. Johnson 
    Georgia Institute of Technology

    This case illustrates an extremely complex and difficult issue for researchers involved with the development of new technologies. At the heart of the case is uncertainty and the role uncertainty plays both in technological development and in ethics. Uncertainty makes for difficult decision making.

    In one of the first textbooks on ...

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  • Deborah G. Johnson
    Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    University of Virginia
    Commentary: The Federal Scientist- Multiple Roles and Moral Issues
    Added 4/12/2006 3:31 PM

    Deborah G. Johnson 
    Georgia Institute of Technology

    This case presents three distinct situations, all having to do with research on and administration of the disposal of toxic wastes. The situations are separable in the sense that any one could arise (and would be difficult to resolve) independent of any other. Comparable situations arise in dealing with other kinds of research and decision ...

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  • Deborah G. Johnson
    Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    University of Virginia
    Commentary: In Need of a Helping Hand
    Added 4/10/2006 11:47 AM

    Deborah G. Johnson 
    Georgia Institute of Technology

    The sequence of events in this case illustrates how a seemingly altruistic action (furthering the goals of science) can lead, through subsequent events, to an awkward situation in which professors, post-docs and graduate students seem to fail to fulfill their responsibilities

    Part 1

    The events described in Part 1 of the case suggest a ...

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  • Deborah G. Johnson
    Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    University of Virginia
    Commentary: Complex Concerns
    Added 3/29/2006 3:06 PM

    Deborah G. Johnson 
    Georgia Institute of Technology

    This case raises several of the toughest issues in research ethics. Part 1 focuses on issues that arise in the design of the research project, and Part 2 focuses on issues that arise in the implementation of the study. The questions at the end of Part 1 point to the general ethical dilemma posed by all research using placebos: the role of ...

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  • Deborah G. Johnson
    Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    University of Virginia
    Commentary: Confidentiality vs. Mentor Responsibilities: A Conflict of Obligations
    Added 3/28/2006 12:42 PM

    Deborah G. Johnson 
    Georgia Institute of Technology

    This is a very interesting case. At first, it appears to be about a conflict of obligations, but as one works through it, the conflict disappears and attention focuses on fundamental questions about ownership and credit for ideas and the obligations of reviewers. As I wrestled with Dr. Ethicos' obligation to her graduate student, Sarah ...

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Cite this page: "Deborah G. Johnson" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 7/8/2009 OEC Accessed: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 <www.onlineethics.org/Community/CommunityDirectory/DJohnson.aspx>