Vivian Weil
1929-2016
Vivian Weil
Director, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions Illinois Institute of Technology
Joined OEC on 07/10/2009
Biography

1923-2016 Vivian Weil, professor of ethics and Director Emeritus of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology, passed away on May 7, 2016. She was a member of the IIT faculty for 44 years and a founding member and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions from 1987-2014. She was an influential advisor to the NAE Center for Engineering Ethics and Society and the Online Ethics Center.  She made foundational contributions to scholarship and education about research and engineering ethics.

 As noted in the memorial notice, May 10, IIT, “she will be greatly missed by her colleagues, and her legacy will continue through the countless younger colleagues and students she mentored and the activities of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions.”  The notice can be found at https://iit.edu/news/iittoday/?p=54346.

Weil received her A.B. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Chicago. During the academic year 1990-1991, she served as Director of the Ethics and Values Studies Program of the National Science Foundation.  A philosopher by training, Vivian worked on theoretical problems of human action and responsibility as well as practical issues of professional responsibility, primarily in engineering and science. She authored numerous publications in research ethics and engineering ethics education and worked on normative issues of data sharing, secrecy and openness with respect to the dissemination of scientific and technical information -- in the context of intellectual property and national security restrictions, integrating professional ethics in professional education, and ethics and biotechnology. Her recent public lectures and panel presentations dealt with ethical issues in research, intellectual property in graduate science education, conflicts of interest involving university scientists, educating scientists and engineers concerning professional responsibility, mentoring and ethical issues in biotechnology.

Weil was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Governing Board of the National Institute for Engineering Ethics, the Executive Committee of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, and a former member of the Committee on Computer Use in Philosophy of the American Philosophical Association. She served on the editorial boards of Teaching Philosophy, The International Journal of Applied Philosophy, Science, Technology and Human Values, Science and Engineering Ethics, and Science Communication (formerly Knowledge). 

Commentaries
  • Vivian Weil
    Director, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Vivian Weil's Commentary on Ethical Issues in Discovering Criminal Behavior during Interviews
    Added 3/8/2016 4:00 PM

    Dr. Barnes confronts an extremely troubling dilemma: whether to report the violation or not. Before considering whether he can devise any route between the horns, we should look back at the route by which he reached this difficult moment.

    First, we must ask whether Barnes considered in advance, as he should have, the risk of encountering such forced choices. From the outset, Barnes faces the ...

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  • Vivian Weil
    Director, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Vivian Weil's Commentary on Research on Linguistic Profiling of Terrorists
    Added 3/8/2016 3:23 PM

    This case highlights ethical issues in research design and effectively brings out a number of additional ethical issues.  Temptations faced by social science researchers in dealing with these issues are forcefully presented.  The case and other commentary make the social science researcher’s resistance to the IRB’s interference understandable, and at the same time they ...

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  • Vivian Weil
    Director, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Commentary: Student Publishes
    Added 4/10/2006 1:17 PM

    Vivian Weil 
    Illinois Institute of Technology

    Stevens's experience suggests that this graduate department puts a premium on graduate students' publishing work before finishing their PhDs. The department does not ensure that students are familiar with conventions and procedures governing publishing in this field, however. It is careless, if not unfair, to encourage students to publish while ...

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  • Vivian Weil
    Director, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Commentary: A Single Author Paper
    Added 4/10/2006 12:49 PM

    Vivian Weil 
    Illinois Institute of Technology

    The account in this case is the more telling for revealing the adviser's remoteness without making a point of it. Mike, a post-doc, and Lisa, an advanced graduate student, share the spotlight, but their adviser, an important figure in the situation, remains unnamed and in the background. Whether wittingly or not, the adviser contributes to ...

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  • Vivian Weil
    Director, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Commentary: Fair Play
    Added 4/10/2006 9:50 AM

    Vivian Weil 
    Illinois Institute of Technology

    The vulnerability of graduate students and post-docs is the concern that drives many research ethics cases. Subject to the power of principal investigators and others in authority, graduate students and post-docs figure in situations in which they seem to be at the mercy of senior investigators. In many cases, supervisors appear to have failed to ...

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Cite this page: "Vivian Weil" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 7/10/2009 OEC Accessed: Sunday, May 19, 2019 <www.onlineethics.org/Community/CommunityDirectory/VWeil.aspx>