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Karin Ellison

Karin Ellison

Clinical Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287-4501


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Clinical Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Associate Director, Center for Biology and Society, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Karin Ellison's research, teaching and program development activities span the areas of research ethics, ethics education development and the history of American science and technology. As director of the Life Science Ethics Program with the School of Life Sciences, she coordinates opportunities for students, faculty and staff to learn about and reflect on the ethical dimensions of advances in the life sciences and life science research.

Working with colleagues at the National Academy of Engineering and ASU on an National Science Foundation-sponsored project, she is leading enhancement of life and environmental science ethics education materials for the Online Ethics Center. Ellison also fosters graduate education as associate director of the Center for Biology and Society at ASU.


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999
  • BA (summa cum laude), Chemistry, History, and Philosophy of Sciences, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, 1990

Journal Articles


Canary, H., J. L. Taylor, J. R. Herkert, K. D. Ellison, J. M. Wetmore and C. A. Tarin. 2014. Engaging students in integrated ethics education: A communication in the disciplines study of pedagogy and students' roles in society. Communication Education 63(2):83-104. DOI: 10.1080/03634523.2014.888457. (link )


Tahan, C., R. Leung, G. M. Zenner, K. D. Ellison, W. C. Crone and C. A. Miller. 2006. Nanotechnology and society: A discussion-based undergraduate course. American Journal of Physics 74(5):443. DOI: 10.1119/1.2178845. (link )

Book Chapters


Ellison, K. D., C. Facemire and J. R. Herkert. 2018. Designing an EAC program for the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University: Early initiatives and lessons from the literature. Pp. 343-361 In: Englehardt, E. E. and M. S. Pritchard eds., Ethics Across the Curriculum—Pedagogical Perspectives. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-319-78938-5.


Ellison, K. D. 2008. Explaining Hoover, Grand Coulee, and Shasta Dams: Institutional stability and professional identity in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Pp. 221-248 Reclamation - Managing Water in the West - The Bureau of Reclamation - History Essays from the Centennial Symposium. US Bureau of Reclamation. Denver, CO.



Benya, F. F., R. Hollander, K. Ellison, K. Laas, S. L. Raghavan and T. M. Powers. 2016. Enhancements for the online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science. Poster presented at the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 26-August 28, 2016, New Orleans, LA. (link )

Conference Papers


Canary, H., J. R. Herkert, K. D. Ellison and J. M. Wetmore. 2012. Microethics and macroethics in graduate education for scientists and engineers: Developing and assessing instructional models. Proceedings of Annual Meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education. Annual Meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education.


Herkert, J. R., J. M. Wetmore, H. Canary and K. Ellison. 2009. Integrating microethics and macroethics in graduate science and engineering education: Developing instructional models. Conference Proceedings of ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. Austin, TX.


Bekki, J. M., B. L. Bernstein, K. Ellison, A. Sridharan, L. Hita and Q. Spadola. 2008. Work in progress - using case studies to increase the retention of female doctoral students in STEM fields. Proceedings of 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. Saratoga Springs, NY. (link )