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Media Mentions

A selection of articles, op-eds, TV segments, and other media featuring Center staff.



Twitter Is Latest Target of Right-Wing Project Veritas

“They appear to have tricked somebody to say that [Twitter] would comply with a legal process,” said Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Thursday. She said the video doesn’t  prove that Twitter as a whole is biased, only that individual employees have “their own political views.”

Excerpted from an article on Silicon Beat. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


Donald Trump

Trump Appoints Official with Potential Conflicts of Interest

“Public officials are basically public fiduciaries. We put them in a position of trust to act on our behalf and always in our best interest,” Hana Callahan, director of Government Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, said in an interview. “As public fiduciaries, they have a duty of loyalty, which means they have to put the public’s interest before their own personal interest.”

Excerpted from a ThinkProgress article about the appointment of Kevin McIntyre as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Old hands

Slowing Aging Could Transform Society As We Know It

"It kind of lends itself to a moral myopia," Brian Green says of the prospect of significantly extending the human lifespan. “Humans work better if they have a goal beyond their own survival.”

“Hopefully these things will work, and they’ll help us live a little bit longer,” Green says of the scientific research being done at the Mayo Clinic and the Scripps Research Institute. “But the idea of radical life extension where we’re going to live indefinitely longer, I think that is very unrealistic.”

Excerpted from an article on Leapsmag.


National Character Took a Big Hit in 2017

"The belief in American exceptionalism has been grounded not just in the strength of our political institutions and the bounty of our natural resources but in the strength of our national character, our commitment to a distinctive set of ethical values. How have these values and our national character fared in 2017? I believe there are ways in which our character was strengthened in 2017, but many more in which it was weakened."

Excerpted from an article in the Mercury News by Kirk O. Hanson.

John Rood

Trump Trying to Fill Pentagon Posts

Kirk Hanson with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics says appointments like Rood's are controversial because policy and purchasing are linked at the Pentagon. "All matters could perhaps influence the sale of Lockheed Martin equipment, and therefore it would be very difficult to do his job," said Hanson.

Excerpted from an audio recording of Marketplace. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)



East of Eden Cover Art

Artificial Intelligence and John Steinbeck

“Our species is the only creative species,” writes Steinbeck, “and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man.” He goes on to knock down the notion of collaborative creativity, and you can certainly disagree with that, but keep in mind that in our time the trajectory seems to be toward handing over creativity, too, to algorithms, leaving aside the human mind (whether individual or collective).

Excerpted from an article by Irina Raicu in recode.

Ageing hand

New Tricks From Old Dogs Join the Fight Against Ageing

"Some people also question whether trying to treat ageing makes sense from a humanitarian standpoint. Brian Patrick Green, an ethicist at Santa Clara University in California, says that although there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with extending human life, it does carry some risks. He worries, for instance, that people in rich countries will benefit while those in developing nations continue to die young. People living longer could also consume more resources, leading to social and environmental catastrophes, he says."

Excerpted from an article in Nature.

business meeting

Here's How to Know if Sexual Harassment Is More Likely at Your Work

"There are more subtle and complex systems that contribute to harassment, and typically their flaw is in the imbalance of power.  A professor seeking tenure, an attorney hoping to make partner — all professionals that participate in promotion practices tied to a timetable are, in my opinion, at risk right out of the gate.  Leaders in all professions should be asking themselves what they might be willing to let go of in some of these time-honored professional practices if it creates more fairness and safety in the workplace."

Excerpted from an article by Ann Skeet in MarketWatch.


Monitoring the Online Activity of Teens

The Secret to Secure Messaging

“The general populace is certainly becoming more aware of how their online interactions can be monitored,” said Irina Raicu, Internet Ethics program director at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. “This has forced people to begin using encrypted applications on a broader scale.”

“As young people, you know about these applications and how to implement them,” she said. “People in older generations are less inclined and often less knowledgeable about how to use encryption.”

Excerpted from an article in Spartan News Room. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof, File)

The Trust Project Small Logo

Trust, Democracy, and Media

"The Trust Project, supported by Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Google and Knight Foundation at Santa Clara University, is working with newsrooms and technology companies to help the public and algorithms differentiate between news content and fakery."

Excerpted from a speech (published on Medium) by Alberto Ibarguen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.