Ethics: Addition or subtraction?

Discussions about ethics is a crucial part of your makerspace, and an excellent learning experience for students. This month I’ll be talking about five ethical questions related to making. Just because we can make something, should we?

Whenever we are making, an important consideration is whether what we are creating is adding value, or taking away value. Often new inventions are actually doing both at the same time. Self-driving cars add convenience, but are also a safety concern. Smart phones put the Internet at our fingertips, but are also quickly changing social dynamics.

Question to discuss with students:

Let’s talk about delivery robots. They can bring your take-out to your doorstep or to your office. But are they in the way, especially in high-traffic areas, like tourist attractions? Are they a safety concern for the elderly? Do they add more value to our world, or do they take away value?