Bio

​B.A. University of Virginia, 1979​M.A. University of Virginia, 1982​Ph.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, Associate Professor

 

Rosalyn W. Berne, PhD is Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Virginia’s Department of Engineering and Society 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 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.  

 

 

Research Interests

  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Engineering Ethics
  • Interspecies Communication

Selected Publications

  • Waking to Beauty. Rainbow Ridge Books. Berne, R.W. (2016)
  • “When an Explanation is Not Forthcoming: On including study of interspecies communication inside the academic domain of inquiry.” “Wonder and the Natural World” (2016) International Conference, sponsored by the IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society, held on the IU campus, June 20-23.
  • "Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource", 2nd edition. 4 vols. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA. Berne, R.W. (2015). Nanoethics. In Holbrook, J.B., Mitcham, C. Editors.
  • "Creating Life from Life: Biotechnology and Science Fiction" Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing. Berne, R.W. (2014). Editor.
  • "When the Horses Whisper" Rainbow Ridge Books. Berne, R.W. (2013)
  • Review. (Review of the book "What is Nanotechnology and Why Does it Matter?" by F. Allhoff, P. Lin, and D. Moore). The Journal of Philosophy, Science and Law, Volume 11. Berne, R.W. (2011, October 10).
  • "Nanoethics" In Mitcham, C., Editor. Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference. Berne, R.W. (2005).
  • "Toward the conscientious development of ethical nanotechnology" Journal of Science and Engineering Ethics. Vol. 10, No. 4, pp 627-638. Berne, R.W. (2004, October).

Courses Taught

  • STS 1500: Science, Technology and Contemporary Issues: Considering the Future through Fiction
  • STS 2500 Ethics in Nanotechnology Development
  • STS 2500 Religion and Technology
  • STS 2500 Science Fiction and the Future: The Frankenstein Myth in Emerging Biotechnology
  • STS 2500 Gender, Ethics, and the New Reproductive Technologies.
  • STS 3500/5500 Race Matters in Engineering and Technology
  • STS 4500: STS and Engineering Practice
  • STS 4600 Ethics and Engineering Practice

Featured Grants & Projects

  • Transforming Ethics Education. Online Ethics Enter (OEC), National Science Foundation


    $1,200,000