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

History of the Ethics Center

1985
Discussion group "Ethics in the Natural Sciences" (since 1990 "Ethics in the sciences and humanities")

The discussion group "Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities" is the first forum for interdisciplinary discussion on ethical questions between researchers at the University of Tübingen to raise awareness of ethical questions in science.

1986
Research unit "Ethics in the natural sciences"

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Dietmar Mieth, the interdisciplinary exchange on ethical responsibility in science was institutionalized and promoted through conferences, publications and the first interdisciplinary research and teaching activities. This model, unique in Germany, made it possible for the first time for scientists to qualify in their discipline by working on ethical questions.

1990
International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen (Ethics Center)

The establishment of the Ethics Center through the expansion of the research unit in 1990 followed a recommendation of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament. To this end, the establishment of a comprehensive database and specialist library as well as two ethics professorships, the Chair of Ethics in the Life Sciences and the Chair of Ethics in Medicine, were promoted.

1991
1991 - Post-graduate programme "Ethics in the sciences and humanities" and Professorship for Ethics in the life sciences

With the approval of the research training group "Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities" by the German research foundation, the number of ethical research projects carried out at the Ethics Center has increased significantly. The Research Training Group ended in September 2001 after reaching its maximum funding period of 9 years.

1998
Women's Promotion Prize of the University of Tübingen

In December of 1998, the Ethics Center was awarded the Women's Support Prize of the University of Tübingen. In addition to the high proportion of women working at the centre and its family-friendly policy, innovative research and discussions in the working group "Feminist Ethics" contributed to the prize being awarded to the Ethics Center.

2001
Eve-Marie Engels becomes new spokeswoman

In November 2001 after 16 years of successful leadership, Dietmar Mieth stepped down as Executive Director of the centre. Eve-Marie Engels, holder of the Chair of Ethics in the Life Sciences, became the Ethics Center's new Executive Director.

2001
basic ethical and philosophical studies (EPG) are introduced

In 2001 the „Ethisch-Philosophische Grundlagenstudium“ (EPG) (= basic ethical and philosophical studies) were introduced in the teachers' trainings program for advanced secondary education (GymPOI) in Baden-Württemberg. It became mandatory for all student teachers to take two ethics classes, in order to be able to deal better with the ethical questions of their subjects, and the everyday work as teacher in general. The Concept of the EPG was mainly developed at the Ethics Center. The EPG-Coordination at the International Centre organises and coordinates the courses offered by the EPG (and other offers on ethics), advises teachers and students, and supports the EPG in the research context of ethics in the sciences and humanities.

2004
graduates team "bioethics"

The graduates team "Bioethics" was succesfully able to continue the work of the former graduates team "Ethics in Sciences". The project consisted of 51 doctorates and 11 PostDoc-stipends, it was extended two times and was supported until 2013.

2009
Renaming of the Ethics Center to „International Centre for Ethics in Sciences and Humanities“

In the course of its increasingly international orientation and networking, the Ethics Center has changed its name to "International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities".

2011
Urban Wiesing becomes the new executive director

After ten years of successful leadership, Eve-Marie Engels resigned in January 2011 as Executive Director of the centre. Urban Wiesing became the Ethics Center's new Executive Director. He held the Chair of Ethics in Medicine and was the Director of the Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine. In the year 2011 the newly established International Board of the Ethics Center was constituted.

2014
Regina Ammicht Quinn und Thomas Potthast become the new executive directors

After nearly four years of successful leadership Urban Wiesing resigned in December 2014 as Executive Director of the center. Regina Ammicht Quinn und Thomas Potthast became together the Ethics Center's new Executive Directors.

2015
The Ethics Center celebrates its 25th anniversary

In 2015, the Ethics Center was able to look back on 25 extremely successful years. The Ethics Center celebrated its anniversary with a ceremonial act and the anniversary collection volume "Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities - 1 Concept, 25 Years, 50 Perspectives".