CFP: Special Issue on: Engineering Ethics: Bridging the Theory-Practice Gap

Submission deadline: December 1, 2020

Topic areas


Invited Contributions

  • Steve Fuller – University of Warwick, UK
  • Dylan Cawthorne – University of Southern Denmark
  • Lavinia Marin, Taylor Stone & Janna van Grunsven – TU Delft

Submission Due Date

  • Initial paper submission deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Initial round of review to be completed by: February 1, 2021
  • Revised paper submission deadline: March 1, 2021
  • Second round of review to be completed by: April 1, 2021
  • Submission of accepted papers for journal copyediting processes: May 1, 2021
  • Publication of special section papers: July 2021

Guest Editors

Steven Umbrello (University of Turin, Italy; Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies)

Baha Abu-Shaqra (University of Ottawa)


Over the course of the last several decades scholars and practitioners have been motivated to deepen reflection on engineering and among engineers through philosophy because it can be important for society. While many engineers love to build things and have an innate sense of wanting to help society, in individual contexts it can be unclear what the ethical thing to do is and how an engineered system will affect society. The power that engineers have been implicitly granted and the overall complexity of social and engineering systems establishes the challenge of helping society. Philosophers and other scholars try to offer practical and ethical advice for engineering, but such advice can be disconnected from how engineering systems are actually developed and managed. Ethical dialog on engineering benefits from a sense of how institutions work and what knowledge gets brought to bear in the design and operations process.

As a consequence, various approaches that center around stakeholders, human values and the environment have been proposed as methodologies to adopt early on and through design practices. Although some of these approaches have been more successful than others, or more widely adopted, the literature on their continued sustainability and their resulting products has yet to be widely disseminated.This is particularly important in designing for value change across sociocultural boundaries.

Bringing engineers and philosophers into deeper conversation allows for both to learn from each other, and can serve as a community to reflect on society's broader approach toward engineering and its governance. In this way, this special issue aims to gather high-level research across these domains to comprehensively index the current state-of-the-art research in the field of engineering ethics and design as well as what future trends have made themselves apparent.


The aim of this special issue is to provide a platform for the researchers, scholars, academicians, and practitioners from different parts of the globe to discuss various methods, disciplines, and traditions across both philosophy and engineering in order to explore what current conceptual frameworks have shown the most potential, and how we can saliently move from theory to practice in a world of exponential technological advancement. 

Scholarly papers are invited from all over the world for publication in this issue.

Recommended Topics

Topics to be discussed in this special issue include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Philosophy of engineering and technology
  • Ethics related to engineering and technology
  • Philosophy / ethics in engineering education
  • Value sensitive design and responsible innovation
  • Interdisciplinary reflections on engineering practice
  • Philosophical theories of value change
  • Ethics-aware requirements engineering
  • Lessons learned with respect to ethical aspects in digital projects
  • Design approaches and technology policy innovation 

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit their original empirical research articles 5'000-7'000 words in length. Interested authors must consult the journals guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted articles will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis by no fewer than 3 members of the journal's Editorial Review Board and 1 Associate Editor. Final decision regarding acceptance/revision/rejection will be based on the reviews received from the reviewers and at the sole discretion of the special issue guest editor.

All manuscripts must be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery online submission manager:

All submissions and inquiries should be directed to the attention of:
Steven Umbrello
University of Turin, Italy; Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
[email protected]

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