Lecture “Ethics for Nerds” at Saarland University wins “Hochschulperle” 2019
The lecture “Ethics for Nerds” had already been awarded University Pearl of the Month by the Stifterverband für Deutsche Wissenschaft in January 2019, and therefore was also eligible to be voted University Pearl of the Year in the election that ended today. First place was awarded both to the lecture at Saarland University and to “Game of TUK”, a project at Kaiserslautern University of Technology. They each receive prize money of 2000 Euros and the title “University Pearl 2019”.
The voting took place via SMS. Each person had one vote, which could be submitted as a short message with the code for their favorite project for exactly 24 hours. The project that received the most messages was to be named University Pearl 2019. As simple as the concept was, just as dramatic was its execution. Although the Technical University of Kaiserslautern quickly took the lead, the University of the Saarland steadily caught up from second place.
Their project “Ethics for Nerds” is a lecture that instructors from the Departments of Computer Science and Philosophy at Saarland University have developed for students of computer science and computer-related courses of study. The goal: to broaden the students’ view of the social responsibility of computer science. Therefore, the lecture imparts knowledge from the fields of moral philosophy, technology assessment, machine ethics and argumentation theory, among others.
Just a few hours before the end of the vote, both universities were neck and neck when suddenly the display went offline. The Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany (Stifterverband) later explained that the rush was enormous and that “the counting mechanism was overloaded after a record turnout of 6,756 votes”. Therefore, the Solomon-like decision was made to award the university pearl to both contenders.
Die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit am Saarland Informatics Campus wird unterstützt durch das Kompetenzzentrum Informatik Saarland, gefördert aus Mitteln des Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) und Mitteln der Staatskanzlei Saarland.