Michael Pritchard
Michael Pritchard
Professor; Co-Director of The Ethics Center Western Michigan University
Joined OEC on 07/10/2009
Biography

Michael Pritchard is the Willard A. Brown Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University. He is also co-director of Western's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society. He is co-author (with C.E. Harris and Michael Rabins) of Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 3rd ed. (Wadsworth, 2005). He is also co-author (with C.E. Harris and Michael Rabins) of Practicing Engineering Ethics (IEEE Engineers Guide to Business Series, 1997).

Pritchard has also prepared a set of 32 case studies along with a set of commentaries by various ethics teachers from engineering and philosophy. The cases and commentaries are the result of an NSF grant, "Teaching Engineering Ethics: A Case Study Approach."

For another NSF grant, "Ethics in Engineering: Good Works," Pritchard developed materials for students that emphasize exemplary engineering practice, in contrast to merely avoiding wrongdoing. He has published four articles related to this project: "Responsible Engineering: Gilbane Gold Revisited," with Mark Holtzapple, Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 3, No. 2, April 1997, pp. 217 230; "Professional Responsibility: Focusing on the Exemplary," Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 1998, pp. 215 233; "Service Learning and Engineering Ethics," Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2000, pp. 413 422; and "Responsible Engineering: the Importance of Character and Imagination," Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 7, No. 3, July 2001, pp. 391 402.

For middle school and high school science teachers interested in bringing ethics into their science classes, Pritchard and Theodore Goldfarb (Chemistry, SUNY at Stony Brook), with the support of several NSF grants, have completed Ethics in the Science Classroom (1999), an instructional guide with lesson plans prepared by teachers who participated in summer institutes directed by Goldfarb.

For a more recent NSF project, "Teaching Research Ethics: An Institutional Change Model," Pritchard gained the support of a large cadre of faculty and graduate student Research Ethics Fellows at Western Michigan University and is developing instructional modules as a vehicle for discussions of research ethics across the university research community.

Commentaries
  • Michael Pritchard
    Professor; Co-Director of The Ethics Center
    Western Michigan University
    Michael S. Pritchard's Commentary on Family Decision-Making about End-of-Life Care
    Added 3/8/2016 5:02 PM

     

    It is certainly understandable, even commendable, that those who provide palliative care consultation services would want to have a better understanding of variables that may affect the quality of care they provide.  Some of this understanding will be acquired “on the job,” as one provides these services—at least by perceptive consultants.  But systematic ...

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  • Michael Pritchard
    Professor; Co-Director of The Ethics Center
    Western Michigan University
    Michael S. Pritchard's Commentary on Ethical Issues in Student Research
    Added 3/8/2016 3:14 PM

    Like most institutions of higher learning, James Bower’s university holds that research done only for educational purposes does not come directly under the purview of the IRB.  However, many such institutions require instructors to submit a statement to the IRB indicating the sorts of research that students will be undertaking.  Although individual protocols are not submitted, ...

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  • Michael Pritchard
    Professor; Co-Director of The Ethics Center
    Western Michigan University
    Responding to disasters like Katrina
    Added 9/16/2010 10:13 AM
    This is a good question, but a complex one. In general, I'd say that Fred Cuny's basic approach includes trying to be prepared to act quickly and effectively before a disaster strikes. The problem is that it seems they we are so often taken by surprise. In the case of Katrina, hindsight might have told us that the levees put the area at high risk for bad things if they don't hold. And, it seems ... Read More
  • Michael Pritchard
    Professor; Co-Director of The Ethics Center
    Western Michigan University
    Commentary: The Slave Driver vs. the Lazy Student
    Added 4/20/2006 2:07 PM

    Michael S. Pritchard 
    Western Michigan University

    Are Santiago's standards unreasonable? Is Patton's work ethic lacking?

    It is difficult to answer these questions without further probing. Apparently, Santiago and Patton would answer each of these questions differently. Santiago: "My standards are reasonable; Patton needs to work harder." Patton: "Santiago's standards are ...

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  • Michael Pritchard
    Professor; Co-Director of The Ethics Center
    Western Michigan University
    Commentary: A Second Story
    Added 4/12/2006 12:14 PM

    Michael Pritchard 
    Western Michigan University

    In this case, it is very important to sort out the ethical questions facing Deborah and more general questions about what would be a desirable outcome. If, in fact, a second story was added to the house and it is the desire of the church, its new owner, to preserve the house in as close to its original form as possible, then removal of the newer ...

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Cite this page: "Michael Pritchard" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 7/10/2009 OEC Accessed: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 <www.onlineethics.org/Community/CommunityDirectory/MPritchard.aspx>