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The Hughes case has been extensively researched by Chuck Huff from St. Olaf College with the results published at www.computingcases.org. It will also be one of 10 cases to be included in a textbook on computer ethics entitled, Good Computing: A Virtue Approach to Computer Ethics under contract with Jones&Bartlett with Chuck Huff, William Frey, and Jose Cruz as authors. This module takes three decision points from the case and has students evaluate these using three ethics tests (reversibility, harm/beneficence, and publicity) and a feasibility test. This module is designed to give students experience integrating ethical considerations into real world decision making. This module is being developed as a part of an NSF-funded project, "Collaborative Development of Ethics Across the Curriculum Resources and Sharing of Best Practices," NSF SES 0551779.


I. introduction

The Hughes Aircraft Case involves a group of employees in charge of testing chips for weapons systems. Because of the lengthy testing procedure required by the U.S. Defense Department, Hughes soon fell behind schedule in delivering chips to customers. To get chips out faster, some Hughes middle level managers began to put pressure on employees to pass chips that had failed tests or to pass them without testing. The scenarios below consist of narratives that stop at the point of decision. Your job is to complete the narrative by making a decision. Alternatives are provided to get the process started, but you may find it necessary to design your own solution. Ethics and feasibility tests help you to evaluate these alternatives and even design new ones more to your liking. This format superficially resembles the Gray Matters exercise used at Boeing Corporation. (More information on the history of Gray Matters can be found by consulting Carolyn Whitbeck, Ethics in Engineering Practice, 1998, 176-182.) This version differs in being more open-ended and more oriented toward giving you the opportunity to practice using ethical theory (which has been encapsulated into ethics tests).


    Ii. directions

  • Read the following scenarios and the accompanying solutions
  • Evaluate the alternatives in terms of the tests described below.
  • Choose the one you think best or design your own solution if you believe you can do better.
  • Summarize your results by filling in the solution evaluation matrix that appears on the page following the scenario. Notice that the first column repeats the solution alternatives.
  • Be prepared to present your matrix to the class. You will also provide the other groups in the class with a copy of your matrix for their ethics portfolios

Bibliographical note

The six scenarios below were developed by Chuck Huff as Participant Perspectives. They were first published online through the Computing Cases website. (Computing Cases was developed through two National Science Foundation grants, DUE-9972280 and DUE-9980768.) A revised version of these participant perspectives has been published in the anthology, Whistleblowing: Perspectives and Experiences , edited by Reena Raj and published in 2008 by the Icfai University Press, Nagarjuna Hills, Punjagutta, Hyderbad, India. These materials can be found on pages 75-80.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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