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Advocate of Computer Ethics Honored by International EthicsSociety
[December 16, 2010]

Advocate of Computer Ethics Honored by International EthicsSociety

NEW YORK, Dec 16, 2010 (ASCRIBE NEWS via COMTEX) -- Don Gotterbarn, a champion of promoting ethical conduct in the Information Technology industry, has been recognized by the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology (INSEIT) for his role in developing the moral consciousness of the profession. Gotterbarn, who spearheaded the establishment of ACM's Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, will receive the 2010 INSEIT/Joseph Weizenbaum Award for his contributions to the field of information and computer ethics. The award will be presented at the Computer Ethics Philosophical Enquiry conference, , May 31 - June 3, 2011, in Milwaukee, Wis.

A professor emeritus of Computer Science and director of the Software Engineering Ethics Research Institute at East Tennessee State University, Gotterbarn brought his unique software engineering and philosophy credentials to the IT industry. Through his lectures, articles, and advocacy, he promoted the ethical behavior of computing professionals and organizations throughout the world.

ACM's Codes of Ethics ( have achieved real world impact through Gotterbarn's research. He is co-creator of the Software Development Impact Statement (SoDIS) process that encourages software project managers to consider the wider ramifications of their work. This approach incorporates the ethics codes into the software development decision-making process, thereby integrating ethical and social responsibility into the process. An associated decision support tool, the SoDIS Project Auditor, has been developed and successfully field-tested in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US, and is now commercially available.

Gotterbarn was a computer consultant on software systems for the U.S. Navy and the Saudi Arabian Navy. In addition to his work on missile defense systems, he has focused on certification of software for vote counting machines. His technical work also includes funded research on performance prediction, object-oriented testing, and software engineering education and computer ethics. He holds academic appointments in software engineering and ethics at universities in England and New Zealand.

Gotterbarn has served as chair of the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) since 1997. A member of the committee that revised the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in 1992, he chaired the ACM/IEEE-CS joint task force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practice from 1993-1999. His leadership also included developing a computer ethics curriculum, serving on ACM curriculum development committees, and providing ethics workshops at ACM conferences. Gotterbarn has also provided active service to the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIGCAS ; where he served as vice president, and has participated in ACM's Distinguished Speakers Program for many years (

A graduate of Hofstra University, Gotterbarn received a M.Div. at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Rochester.

He began his career as an assistant professor at Wichita State University in 1971. After serving at several other universities, he became an assistant professor of Computer Science at Allegheny College in 1984, and returned to Wichita State as assistant professor of Computer Science in 1988. He joined East Tennessee State University as associate professor of Computer Science in 1990, to establish a Master of Software Engineering program. He has been professor of Computer and Information Sciences at the University since 1997, and professor emeritus since 2005.

Gotterbarn was awarded the 2005 ACM Outstanding Contribution award for his work in promoting professionalism in the teaching and practice of software development. He is also the recipient of the 2002 Making a Difference award from ACM SIGCAS.

About ACM ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery (, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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