College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology PhD
Research Focus:Applied Ethics (bioethics; environmental ethics; engineering ethics)
Jonathan Beever, PhD earned his doctoral degree in Philosophy from Purdue University where he later stayed as a National Science Foundation funded postdoctoral researcher in biomedical engineering ethics. After completing another postdoctoral appointment at Penn State's Rock Ethics Institute, Dr. Beever became an Assistant Professor of Ethics and Digital Culture and was appointed to the Philosophy and Texts and Technology PhD program at UCF.
“I like that UCF is still kind of the untrammeled wilderness of research universities which means that, along with its struggles to shape its identity and place in the broader network of institutions, it enables freedom, creativity, and interdisciplinary work. That space of openness is a space of promise for the future if we continue to work to cultivate it,” Dr. Beever says.
In 2019, Dr. Beever took on an additional role at the university as a Founding Director of the UCF Center for Ethics. Here, the aim is to cultivate an institutional culture of ethical literacy with a unified and ongoing conversation about ethics and a habit of practical application to research, teaching, and partnerships. The role has afforded him the privilege to work with students in a variety of different ways, such as the Ethics Ambassadors Network. The Network allows student volunteers to help organize events, collaborate in research projects, and lead workshops and trainings.
Dr. Beever’s research in applied ethics is important because its goal is to help the community reimagine their relationships to and in the natural world. One problem at the forefront of his work is the rate and scope of anthropogenic climate change. “Despite all the science and data about how dangerous anthropogenic climate change is and will continue to be, and the horrible effects it has on life around is, nothing much is changing,” he says. This focus on ecological ethics is all in the service of helping others think in new ways about our network of relationships, how we relate to each other and other life on the planet, and how thinking about values is influenced by our relationships.
His accolades include leading a team of interdisciplinary researchers recently awarded a five-year institutional transformation grant by the National Science Foundation to examine the personal and institutional values at work in disciplinary enculturation. Dr. Beever also has a new book, “Philosophy, Film, and the Dark Side of Interdependence” which will be released this fall which draws together a group of scholars to examine, through films, the ways we rely on our relations to one another and our environments.
For students interested in Ethics and Philosophy, the Theoretical and Applied Ethics Graduate Certificate Program is an excellent way to earn scholarly ethics credentials and connect with other students from diverse backgrounds each interested in ethics. Dr. Beever’s Sound, Silence, Environments project regularly works with students interested in questions of big data analysis, natural spaces, and nonhuman animal experience. The UCF Center for Ethics supports the Ethics Ambassadors Network and the Be Better Club as an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members interested in ethics to connect around important ethical questions. Learn more by reaching out directly to Dr. Beever at [email protected].
- Founding Director of the UCF Center for Ethics
- Leader of interdisciplinary researchers funded by the National Science Foundation
- Author of "Philosophy, Film, and the Dark Side of Interdependence"
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