Dr. John Slattery has been named director of Duquesne University's Carl G. Grefenstette Center of Ethics in Science, Technology and Law. He had been the directing fellow of the center since January 2021.
An ethicist, theologian and science historian, Slattery has written extensively about the intersection of technology, science, religion and racism. He is the author of Faith and Science at Notre Dame and the editor of the T&T Clark Companion to Christian Theology and the Modern Sciences. He has written numerous essays for science, technology and theology journals and speaks at various conferences on the subject.
Before joining Duquesne, Slattery was the senior program associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he managed a $6.5 million grant to oversee the Science for Seminaries program at the organization. He won the Expanded Reason Award from the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation in 2020 for his leadership in bringing science and technology conversations to seminary classrooms across the U.S. and Canada.
Created by a $1.5 million gift from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Grefenstette Center is an interdisciplinary center that will primarily explore the intersections between ethics and technology, drawing from Duquesne's nine schools to conduct research, build curricula, organize conferences, develop student interest, and consult with tech companies.
"The Grefenstette Center is in a perfect place at the perfect time," Slattery said. "Duquesne's substantial ethics offerings, combined with Pittsburgh's growing reputation as a hub for tech innovation, gives the center almost limitless potential to advance ethical discussions and spur ethical actions in Pittsburgh and throughout the tech world."
The Grefenstette Center is committed to strengthening partnerships with leading research institutions, professional organizations, other regional Catholic colleges and universities, and scholars and communities of different faith traditions across the globe. The center will host its Fall Symposium on "How Can Algorithms Be Ethical?" on October 28 at Duquesne's Power Center.
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