From the Editors – Issue 20

Welcome to an expanded Ethix, bringing more voices to the discussion table. For example, this issue includes a sort of virtual “round table” discussion on the need for education reform. Most of today’s interesting and important problems are cross-disciplinary in nature and are best approached by teams — yet our universities maintain traditional disciplinary boundaries and a focus on individual accomplishment. Is the university capable of reform or is it obsolete? Leroy Hood and several other educational leaders share their viewpoints (p. 12).

In fact, as Carl Mitcham suggested in his Ethix 17 IBTE Conversation, the need for crossing disciplines goes beyond collaborative science and engineering. Philosophical, literary, religious and other perspectives also need to be integrated with the sciences. Poet David Whyte’s new book, The Heart Aroused, reviewed in this issue, also addresses this point.

Our two columns — Technology Watch and Benchmark Ethics — carry on as usual. The enlarged “In Review” section (page 10) presents three books this go-round. In future editions we will be stretching out to review web sites and other media besides books.

Our centerpiece stays the same: the IBTE Conversation. This issue it is InfoWorld CEO, Robert Magnuson, who joins us. InfoWorld has been a strong supporter of IBTE and its mission and we are glad to work together. Magnuson’s stature and experience as a journalist go way beyond his InfoWorld career, however. Turn to page six for an exceptional look into a great journalist’s mind.

The Ethix Forum (this time on knowledge management, page 14) remains a standard feature and your one best way to get involved and help illuminate the important issues we face today in business, technology, and the professions. Check it out and think about what you could contribute on the topic for our next Forum (page 16). In addition to your Forum inputs, we always welcome your letters and comments. If you are really ambitious and want to write something for us, let’s talk.

In January 2002, after three-plus years at our current rate, we are raising the cost of an annual subscription to Ethix to $30 (still a terrific deal we think). Until the end of December 2001, however, you may extend your current subscription for up to three more years for the current rate of $20/year. (add $10/year to these rates for addresses outside the USA).

We are also now differentiating between basic “subscriptions” and “memberships.” Henceforth, “IBTE Members” are those who pay $100 per year as a way not only of receiving Ethix but supporting the organization and its mission ($70 of the $100 membership fee is a tax-deductible contribution). IBTE members will receive inside information on our activities, and discounts on IBTE seminars and workshops as these are developed beginning in Spring 2002.

We are in process of enlisting not just our individual subscribers and members but also a small group of Corporate Sponsors (companies identifying with our mission, supporting the IBTE financially, and utilizing IBTE resources in their businesses in various ways) and University Affiliates (educational partners in our mission).

We both recently left our long-time “day jobs” (at The Boeing Company and North Park University respectively) in order to concentrate on the IBTE. One thing this means is that we are now hitting the road for consulting and speaking engagements in companies and universities. Get in touch if this is of interest to you:

We are excited about this next phase of IBTE development and look forward to partnering with you in the effort to weave together good business, advanced technology, and sound ethics.


Al Erisman
Executive Co-Editor

David W. Gill
Executive Co-Editor