Deborah Johnson


Deborah G. Johnson retired as the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics in the STS Program within the Department of Engineering and Society.  She continues to hold that title with emeritus status and she continues to be active in research and occasional teaching.

During her career, Johnson has taught engineering students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Virginia.

In research, Johnson is best known for her work on computer ethics and engineering ethics.  She published one of the first textbooks on computer ethics in 1985.  The book was revised three times and translated into multiple languages.  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.

Johnson’s research has repeatedly received support from the National Science Foundation including awards focused on Surveillance and Transparency as Sociotechnical Systems of Accountability and a project on Ethics for Developing Technologies: An Analysis of Artificial Agents.

Active in professional organizations, 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.