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IEET > Fellows > Patrick Lin

Patrick Lin

Dr. Patrick Lin is the director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is also an associate professor in Cal Poly’s philosophy department—teaching courses in ethics, political theories, philosophy of law, and technology ethics—and was formerly an ethics fellow at the US Naval Academy. He earned his BA from University of California at Berkeley, with substantial work in the biological sciences, and MA and PhD from University of California at Santa Barbara. He recently finished a three-year post-doctoral appointment at Dartmouth College.

In addition to several journal papers and edited symposiums, Dr. Lin is a co-editor on Nanoethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology (Wiley Intersciences, 2007), Nanotechnology & Society: Current and Emerging Ethical Issues (Springer, 2008), and an anthology on robot ethics (MIT Press, in progress). He is a co-author on What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter?: From Science to Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming). He is also the lead author on a pair of government-funded reports: Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design (Office of Naval Research, 2008) and Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions & Answers (NSF, 2009).

Dr. Lin serves on the editorial and advisory boards for a number of academic and industry journals, including Nanotechnology Law & Business, Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, and NanoEthics. He is currently working on ethics and policy projects related to advanced military technologies, geoengineering, space technologies, virtual reality, synthetic biology, and more.

Home Page | CV |


Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics by Patrick Lin (2011)


"Do Killer Robots Violate Human Rights?"   The Atlantic  Apr 21, 2015

"Introduction to Astronaut Bioethics"  Oct 6, 2014

"Cyberwarfare ethics, or how Facebook could accidentally make its engineers into targets"  Aug 31, 2014

"Here’s a Terrible Idea: Robot Cars With Adjustable Ethics Settings"  Aug 28, 2014

"Don’t fear the robot car bomb"  Aug 19, 2014

"What Google Cars Can Learn From Killer Robots"  Aug 4, 2014

"Inside Google’s Mysterious Ethics Board"   Forbes  Feb 5, 2014

"Just the Right Amount of Cyber Fear"  Jan 10, 2014

"The Ethics of Autonomous Cars"   The Atlantic  Oct 8, 2013

"The Ethics of Saving Lives With Autonomous Cars Are Far Murkier Than You Think"   Wired  Aug 17, 2013

"Pain Rays and Robot Swarms: The Radical New War Games the DOD Plays"   The Atlantic  Apr 19, 2013

"It Could Be A War Crime To Use Biologically Enhanced Soldiers"   io9  Jan 24, 2013

"Could Human Enhancement Turn Soldiers Into Weapons That Violate International Law? Yes"  Jan 11, 2013

"How modern technologies made the fighting in Gaza even worse"  Nov 22, 2012

"Is It Possible to Wage a Just Cyberwar?"   The Atlantic  Jun 8, 2012

"‘Stand Your Cyberground’ Law: A Novel Proposal for Digital Security"   The Atlantic  May 14, 2012

"The Big Robot Questions"  Mar 29, 2012

"More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers"   The Atlantic  Mar 28, 2012

"What I Told the CIA About Robot Ethics"   The Atlantic  Dec 17, 2011

"What If Your Robot Is the Devil?"   Ethical Technology  Jun 15, 2011

"#4: On Wrestling with a Pig, or Getting Dirty in a Debate"   Ethical Technology  Dec 29, 2010

"On Wrestling with a Pig: Getting Dirty in a Debate"   Ethical Technology  Sep 21, 2010

"DIY Science, Democracy, and Dogma"   Ethical Technology  Jul 6, 2010

Recent Multimedia

Join Us At H+ Summit at Harvard   2010-05-29


Hughes and Wallach essays in Patrick’s new collection on Robot Ethics (Dec 15, 2011)

IEET Fellow Patrick Lin on NPR (Oct 08, 2010)

Patrick Lin Appointed as Fellow of the IEET (Feb 04, 2010)

Past Appearances

Wallach, Hughes, Vita-More, Smart, Lin, Darling @ Governance of Emerging Technologies (Scottsdale, AZ USA - May 26, 2015)

Lin & Wallach @ Conflict in the 21st Century (Tufts University, Meford, MA - Mar 22, 2012)

Hughes, Dvorsky, deGrey, Goertzel, Vita-More, Lin and Naam @ H+ Summit (Cambridge, MA - Jun 12, 2010)


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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

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