Deborah G. Johnson

Thursday, July 23, 2020
10:45am EDT

Location CHQ Assembly Video Platform

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"Integrity of Cybersecurity and Digital Ethics"

Deborah G. Johnson recently retired as the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics in the University of Virginia’s Department of Engineering and Society; she holds that title with emeritus status, continuing her research which largely focuses on ethics and information technology. She takes the Amphitheater stage to discuss new technologies that challenge both cybersecurity and the integrity of elections, and how we as citizens can ethically and responsibly navigate a digital world of disinformation, deepfakes, and general foreign interference. 

Throughout her career, Johnson has taught engineering students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Virginia. She is best known for her work on computer ethics and engineering ethics, and published one of the first textbooks on computer ethics in 1985. Drawing on her training in philosophy and ethics, she has published on a wide range of topics all directly or indirectly having to do with ethical, social, and policy implications of technology, especially information technology. Her research has repeatedly received support from the National Science Foundation.

Among several honors, Johnson was awarded the Covey Award from the International Association for Computing and Philosophy in 2018, and the Joseph Weizenbaum Award for life-long contributions to information and computer ethics from the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology in 2015.

Johnson has served as President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, President of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology (INSEIT), Treasurer of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society, Chair of the American Philosophical Association Committee on Computers and Philosophy, and a member of the Executive Board of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas.