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Green, yellow and black graphic describing the theme of the 2017 Undergraduate Ethics Symposium, April 4-6: "Intersecting Worlds of Researchers, Executives and Journalists"

The Prindle Institute is pleased to announce the tenth annual DePauw Undergraduate Ethics Symposium from April 6-8, 2017, on the theme of "The Intersecting Worlds of Researchers, Executives and Journalists." 

The boundaries between science, business, and media are increasingly blurry in the 21st century.  Private corporations create their own media teams. Media publications are now controlled by large corporations. Scientists face pressure to make their research relevant to the business world and to be interesting enough for their work to gain media coverage. The intersections between these once separate domains reveal moral challenges that we all need to confront and think about. Are there moral constraints on scientists that do research for large corporations? What moral obligations do journalists have when reporting on the results of complicated scientific research? Should major news media outlets be more independent from the private sector?

Keynote speakers who will touch on these issues will include:


Helen Phillips is the author of four books, including, most recently, the short story collection Some Possible Solutions. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. Her first book, And Yet They Were Happy, was named a Notable Book by The Story Prize. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the Italo Calvino Prize, among others. Her work has appeared in The AtlanticThe New York Times and Tin House, and on PRI’s Selected Shorts.

She is an assistant professor in the English Department at Brooklyn College (CUNY), and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.


James Hamblin hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk for The Atlantic, where he is a writer and senior editor. His writing and videos on health have won him praise from numerous media outlets including BuzzfeedTime and Greatist, to name a few. He was a Poynter Fellow in Journalism at Yale University. He completed three years of medical residency before joining The Atlantic to develop a health section.


Jennifer E. Miller, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Ethics and Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine. Prior to joining NYU’s faculty, Dr. Miller was a fellow in Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and taught at Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics and Fuqua School of Business as the George C. Lamb Regulatory Governance fellow, Fordham University's Graduate School of Business, and Columbia University's Bioethics and Cross Cultural Education Program. She is also the founding President of the nonprofit, Bioethics International.

Dr. Miller serves on NYU’s Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee (P&T), Stem Cell Research Oversight IRB, and Electronic Medical Records Working Group. She is also a monitor for J&J-NYU’s Compassionate-Use Advisory Committee (CompAC). Previously, Dr. Miller served on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Task Force for Pediatric Emergency Mass Critical Care, the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Advanced Disaster Life Support Education Consortium, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) National Institutes of Health (NIH) Collaboratory.

Dr. Miller has authored over 35 publications, including for Nature MedicineHealth Affairs, the Hastings Center Report, The Scientist, the Journal of Law, Medicine, and EthicsThe American Journal of Bioethics, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, The Journal of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, and the Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials. She was a Fox News pundit from 2009 to 2012 and remains a commentator for print, radio and television news media, frequently featured in CBS news, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and NPR.


Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of Death, Sex & Money, WNYC’s interview show about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Recently named New York Magazine’s number one podcast of 2015, the show has also been featured by The New York TimesThe AtlanticBuzzfeedThe GuardianFast Company and Real Simple.

Before developing Death, Sex & Money, Anna covered politics for years, including the 2013 New York City mayoral race, the 2012 presidential campaign, and the statehouse beat in Connecticut and West Virginia. She has contributed to Fresh Air with Terry Gross, This American LifeNPR NewsMarketplaceStudio 360PBS Newshour, and Slate.

A West Virginia native, Anna graduated from Stanford University with a degree in history.

The symposium is held at DePauw University's Prindle Institute for Ethics, located in a 500 acre nature park. Participating undergraduate students attend seminars with visiting scholars and artists and also hear presentations on the symposium's theme. Students who are accepted to the symposium will receive free lodging and meals. Need-based assistance is available for travel.

Submissions are closed. If you're interested in participating next year, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be notified of the 2018 call for submissions.

2017 Schedule of Events:

Thursday, April 6

4:30 p.m.       Arrival/check-in

5:30 p.m.       Telling Our Stories

6:30 p.m.       Dinner

7:30 p.m.       First Keynote Speaker:

Rebuilding Trust by Asking Uncomfortable Questions by Anna Sale

9:00 p.m.       Jazz at The Duck

Friday, April 7

8:15 a.m.       Breakfast

9:15 a.m.       Seminar sessions led by visiting scholars/professionals

11:45 a.m.     Lunch break with optional yoga and hiking in the Nature Park

1:30 p.m.       Seminar sessions continued

4:15 p.m.       Second Keynote Speaker:

Ethics and Trust in the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Role of the Good Pharma Scorecard by Jennifer E. Miller

5:45 p.m.       Dinner and workshop debriefing part 1

7 p.m.            Third Keynote Speaker:

The Ethics of Science Reporting, a conversation with James Hamblin

Saturday, April 8

8 a.m.            Breakfast at The Inn at DePauw

10 a.m.          Fourth Keynote Speaker:

Fiction: The Empathy Machine by Helen Phillips

11:30 a.m.     Lunch and workshop debriefing part 2

1:00 p.m.       Symposium ends