Call for Papers: What can science and engineering ethics learn from the COVID-19 pandemic? (Deadline March 18, 2021)

What can science and engineering ethics learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?
A topical collection of Science & Engineering Ethics

The purpose of this topical collection is to discuss ethics issues in the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned for the broader study of science and engineering ethics.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused catastrophic harm worldwide and upended the lives of a large portion of the entire global population. Such a severe and complex event inevitably raises a variety of ethics issues, including issues related to science and engineering.

The biomedical fields are centrally involved in the pandemic response, but many and diverse fields of science and engineering have a role to play. Furthermore, the practice of social distancing has altered the conduct of science and engineering across all fields. The pandemic is an event of historic proportion, and it is worth reflecting upon its ethical dimensions.

This topical collection welcomes the full range of science and engineering ethics perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributions will be welcomed from any research discipline(s) and on any aspect(s) of the pandemic as long as they have a significant science and engineering ethics component. Please refer to the journal’s Aims and Scope for more information.

The topical collection is especially interested in work at the intersection of the fast-paced, dynamic challenges posed by the pandemic and the more timeless philosophical questions that the field of science and engineering ethics addresses. Studies of particular facets of the pandemic can provide a snapshot of science and engineering ethics topics at this specific and important moment in time. Such a snapshot can provide enduring insight to the ongoing study of science and engineering ethics. It is expected that contributions to the topical collection will provide at least one of a snapshot or an enduring insight; manuscripts that provide both are of particular interest.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Measures or technological solutions (e.g. tracing apps) that were taken in attempt at containing or suppressing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus across human populations, or measures that could have been taken but were not
  • Indirect, secondary effects of the pandemic on human society and natural environments and how science and engineering deal with these effects
  • How the pandemic has exposed realities of social inequity in science and/or engineering research/practice
  • How the pandemic has eroded public trust in science and/or engineering
  • Changes to the practice of science and engineering, and to science and engineering education, such as the switch from in-person activities to remote, online platforms
  • Implications of the pandemic for the ongoing practice of science and engineering ethics
  • Established ideas in science and engineering ethics that may be called into question by the pandemic

Please note: While we understand the significance of discussions re: publication and retraction of mss reporting on COVID research, SEE no longer publishes manuscripts that deal with publication ethics, and so we won’t entertain mss which have that as a sole focus.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit manuscripts which respond appropriately to the call through the usual process, but with a notation that this is being submitted for consideration for the Topical Collection.

Deadlines and Timeline

This call will remain open until March 18, 2021

Please direct any inquiries to the Editors in Chief.