BioB.A. University of Virginia, 1979M.A. University of Virginia, 1982Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1999
"My courses have philosophical content as well as broad, case-based analysis, guiding students to think practically about ethics in engineering."Rosalyn W. Berne, Professor
Rosalyn W. Berne, PhD is the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics, and Director of the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science (OEC), in the Department of Engineering and Society, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where she has been a faculty member since 1999. She earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication Studies and a PhD in Religious Studies-Bioethics, all from the University of Virginia. As a scholar, Berne explores the intersecting realms of emerging technologies, science, fiction and myth, and the links between the human and non-human worlds. Her research and writing span considerations of ethics in engineering practice, biotechnology and nanotechnology, and ethics in engineering education. Published under her name are two academic books -- Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists and Engineers about Ethics, Meaning, and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology (2006) and, Creating Life from Life: Biotechnology and Science Fiction (2014); numerous conference papers and journal articles; Waiting in the Silence: A SciFi novel with an ethics focus (2012); and two award winning books in the genre of body-mind-spirit: When the Horses Whisper (2013) and Waking to Beauty (2016). On leave from UVA from 2009-2011, she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs for the Institute for Shipboard Education. On leave from UVA from 2018-2020 Dr. Berne served as Director of the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society at the National Academy of Engineering, and as PI of the Online Ethics Center (OEC). In September 2020 the OEC was transferred from the NAE to UVA and Dr. Berne continued as PI and director of the OEC. She is an emerita advisor to the “Engineering One Planet” project of the Lemelson Foundation; advisor to the Kern Family Foundation KEEN (Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Network) project, “Educating the Whole Engineer: Engineering Fundamentals, Character Education, and Entrepreneurial Mindset; a Standing Council Member, Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA); a member of the Education Committee, IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (“The IEEE Global Initiative”); and serves on the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Engineering Education.