International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

History of the Ethics Center

2019

Today, the IZEW cultivates three fundamental fields; “Ethics and Education,” “Society, Culture and Technological Transformation” and “Nature and Sustainable Development,” with over 30 projects. These projects are realized by over 60 engaged, forward-looking and driven colleagues.

1985
Founding of the discussion group “Ethics in the Natural Sciences”

With the founding of the discussion group “Ethics in the Natural Sciences” (since 1990 “Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities”), the University of Tübingen received its first forum for interdisciplinary dialog on ethical questions for researchers to raise awareness of scientific-ethical questions.

1986
Construction of the research center “Ethics in the Natural Sciences”

With the creation of the research center “Ethics in the Natural Sciences,” led by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Mieth, interdisciplinary exchange on scientific-ethical responsibility was institutionalized, bolstered by conferences, publications and early interdisciplinary research and didactics. This model, unique throughout the nation, made it possible for natural scientists to further qualify their disciplinary work with ethical questions.

1990
Founding of the Inter-faculty Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Spokesperson: Dietmar Mieth The founding of the IZEW through the furthered development of the 1990 research center followed a recommendation by the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg. For this purpose, the construction of a comprehensive databank and a specialized library was to follow, as well as the establishment of central ethics professorial chairs – a chair for ethics in biosciences and one for ethics in medicine.

1991
Graduate college “Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities”

Through the approval of the German Research Foundation, the graduate college “Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities” became known to scientific-ethical research nationwide. The graduate college ended after the maximum 9 years of funding in September 2001 after producing 18 dissertations and post-doctoral theses.

1998
Advancement of Women Prize from the University of Tübingen

In December 1998, the IZEW was honored with the Advancement of Women Prize from the University of Tübingen. The high proportion of women staff, family-friendly institution policies and innovative research projects and discussions in the Feminist Ethics work group were primary factors in receiving the award.

2001
Eve-Marie Engels becomes the new spokesperson of the IZEW

In November 2001, chair for ethics in biosciences Prof. Dr. Eve-Marie Engels became spokesperson, replacing Prof. Dr. Dietmar Mieth after his 16 years of leadership in the IZEW and its preceding institutions.

2001
“Ethical-Philosophical Studies in School and Education” program (EPG) was introduced

In 2001, the “Ethical-Philosophical Studies in School and Education” program (EPG) was introduced into the Baden-Württemberg regulated teacher’s education curriculum for upper secondary schools (GymPO). The conception of the EPG was piloted at the IZEW. The EPG coordination office at the IZEW organized and coordinated the range of courses of the EPG, readied teachers and students and accompanied the EPG in the research context of ethics in the sciences and humanities.

2004
Graduate college “Bioethics”

The graduate college “Bioethics” was able the further build upon the successful work of the earlier graduate college “Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities.” The college comprised of projects from 51 doctoral and 11 post-doctoral grant holders, and was funded through two extensions beyond the normal maximum duration until 2013.

2009
Renaming the IZEW to “International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities”

Following suit with increased international orientation and networking, the IZEW replaced its previous title of “inter-faculty” with “international.” Since then, the IZEW has been known as the “International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities.”

2010
Constitution of the International Advisory Board

In 2010, the newly established International Advisory Board of the IZEW was constituted.

2011
Urban Wiesing becomes the new spokesperson of the IZEW

In January 2011, chair for ethics in medicine and director of the Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine Prof. Dr. Dr. Urban Wiesing became spokesperson, replacing Prof. Dr. Eve-Marie Engels after her 10 years as spokesperson of the IZEW.

2014
Regina Ammicht Quinn and Thomas Potthast become the new spokespersons of the IZEW

In December 2014, Prof. Dr. Regina Ammicht Quinn and Prof. Dr. Thomas Potthast become spokespersons for the IZEW, replacing Prof. Dr. Dr. Urban Wiesing.

2015
The IZEW celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding

In 2015, the IZEW was able to look back upon 25 very successful years. The IZEW celebrated its anniversary with a ceremony and an anniversary anthology titled “Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities – 1 Concept, 25 Years, 50 Perspectives.”