Written by Rachel Brujis, BSD Education
“… I do not publish nor divulge [methods of building submarines] by reason of the evil nature of men who would use them as means of destruction at the bottom of the sea, by sending ships to the bottom, and sinking them together with the men in them.”
Our aim is to give students the confidence and skills to work with the most powerful technology tools of their generation. And as Spiderman teaches “with great power comes great responsibility.”
This is a lesson that every inventor learns. Early inventors were often tied to military purposes. Leonardo da Vinci famously focused on defensive rather than offensive technology, and went as far as destroying some of his advanced designs to avoid what he believed would be the inevitable human destruction. This responsibility expanded to scientists focused on chemical warfare – the wife of the German inventor of chemical warfare ultimately committed suicide when she couldn’t convince her husband not to publish his results – and even DNA – as scientists feared their recombinant DNA experiments would lead to accidentally incurable pathogens.
As we have seen around the world in the last few years technology is not only ubiquitous, but more powerful than ever. A power at the hands of everyone. From a young age, then, we want to equip students not only with the technical skills to use tools but also the moral compass to use them for good. We call this teaching students to CARE – to be curious, adaptable, resilient and empathetic to the world around them.
We work with students to use technology in ways that benefit their communities. We have students that are building connected scales to measure and reduce waste at their schools and others creating websites to donate to people in need. Even something as simple as making virtual Valentine’s Day cards to show people some love can have a positive impact on others. In each case, our students look around themselves to see real problems and create solutions that really work for people in their communities.
Ultimately, we’ll measure our success by the impact that our students have and we want to give them every chance to make that a positive one. Our moral compass guides BSD and we aspire for it to guide the projects, tools and movements our students create too.
Source: Less Wrong