ACM Code of Ethics: Looking back and Forging Ahead

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This special session will involve three related components. It will begin with a history of the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (the Code), its evolving presence in the computing curriculum guidelines over time, and its documented use outside of academe. This will lead into an overview of the major changes to the Code that occurred in the most recent update. The third component and primary focus of the session will be to work with participants to identify ways that ACM and the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) can help Computer Science educators integrate the Code as broadly as possible into diverse programs, ranging from Kindergarten to PhD-level. The outcome of the session would be a preliminary set of guidelines for programs and departments to adopt the Code, potential challenges to be addressed when formalizing those guidelines, and suggested approaches to resolve these difficulties. If attendance is sufficiently large, we would adopt a jigsaw model, breaking into smaller focus groups that are tasked with distinct portions of the Code. Each group reports back at the end, and members of COPE will collate the results into a document for future distribution and work.