Education and Teaching

Integration of security-relevant ethical aspects in research and teaching

In order to raise awareness of security-relevant ethical aspects of research at an early stage and to develop subject-related assessment skills in an interdisciplinary and non-scientific context, universities should embed the respective area ethics in the teaching content and curricula of all relevant courses of study wherever possible. Knowledge of basic ethical standards of scientific work is a prerequisite for compliance with good research practice. Therefore, despite the already high density of information in degree courses and limited resources, the teaching of basic ethical knowledge and evaluation methods should at least be an integral part of all degree courses.

In the course of a CONFERENCE of the Joint Committe on anchoring the ethics of security-relevant research in teaching, it was determined that a qualified and sustainable acquisition of ethical competence can best be ensured with corresponding continuous and compulsory courses. In particular, illustrative subject-related and interdisciplinary case studies of possible misuse scenarios can sharpen students’ awareness and provide methodologically sound guidance for their assessment processes.

With a view to the continuous educational process, the Joint Committee finds the following teaching formats suitable:

  1. In Bachelor’s degree courses, security-relevant aspects of research should be integrated into overview courses on good research practice and on fundamental questions of scientific ethics, for example.
  2. In Master’s degree courses, it is advisable to build on this, e.g. to deal with specific ethical and security-relevant aspects of one’s own subject in depth within seminars – both on a theoretical level and using case studies – and to introduce students to the relevant state of research in the field of ethics (possibly in interdisciplinary cooperation).
  3. doctoral students, post-docs and other staff involved in research should also develop and reflect on the specific current risks of research and the relevant state of ethical research in an interdisciplinary and non-scientific context within the framework of group seminars, further training events, summer schools or graduate schools.

The implementation of these recommendations requires the corresponding qualification of teaching staff and the adaptation of study and examination regulations.

Teaching material

Good practice examples

Self-learning modules