Deborah G. Johnson

Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor Emeritus of Applied Ethics: Science, Technology, and Society

Deborah Johnson
Deborah G. Johnson is the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics in the Science, Technology, and Society Program. Best known for her work on computer ethics and engineering ethics, Johnson’s research examines the ethical, social, and policy implications of technology, especially information technology.


email: dgj7p (at)
phone: 434-924-7751
office: A223 Thornton Hall


Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Kansas, 1976;
M. Phil., Philosophy, University of Kansas, 1974;
M.A., Philosophy, University of Kansas, 1973;
B.Ph., Monteith College, Wayne State University, 1967.

Research Areas

Computers and Information Technology, Ethics, Values, and Policy; Engineering Ethics; Privacy and Surveillance; Autonomous Technologies and Robots; Anticipatory Ethics

Awards and Distinctions

Joseph Weizenbaum Award for her life-long contributions to information and computer ethics, International Society for Ethics and Information Technology, June, 2015.

Honorary Degree (Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa) from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Linköping University, May 2009.

Jon Barwise Prize for contributions to computing and philosophy, American Philosophical Association, 2004.

Sterling Olmsted Award, Liberal Education Division of the American Society for Engineering Education, 2001.

ACM SIGCAS 2000 Making A Difference Award, 2000.

Recent Courses

The Ethics of Big Data
Information Technology, Ethics, and Policy
The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility

Selected Publications

D.G. Johnson and P.M. Regan. 2014. Transparency and Surveillance as Sociotechnical Accountability: A House of Mirrors. Routledge Studies in Science, Technology, and Society.

D.G. Johnson and J.M. Wetmore (Eds.) 2009. Technology & Society: Engineering our Sociotechnical Future. The MIT Press.

D.G. Johnson (with K. Miller). 2009 Computer Ethics 4th Edition, Prentice Hall (Pearson).

D.G. Johnson and M. Noorman. 2014. Artefactual agency and artefactual moral agency. In P. Kroes & P. Verbeek (Eds.) The Moral Status of Technical Artefacts, pp. 143-158.

D.G. Johnson. 2015. Technology without human responsibility? Journal of Business Ethics 127(4): 707-715.