What Is Good Art? Call for proposals

The Kenan Institute for Ethics invites students from across Duke to submit artwork for What Is Good Art?–an exhibit on ethics and art, to be shown virtually.

The theme for the show is “Ethics in the Age of Coronavirus” Works should explore how we should live during COVID-19, focusing on the role that art plays in our lives and its impact on how we see the world during a global pandemic. When social distancing, self-isolation, and stay-at-home directives are in place, what meaning does community hold and what new forms does it take?

Because work will be displayed in an online gallery, only submissions that can be reproduced virtually without degradation will be considered. These include:
• Digital photographs or manipulations
• Video
• Digital illustrations

The submission deadline has been extended to 11:59pm (EDT), May 2, 2020.

Competition Rules

The competition is open to all currently-enrolled Duke undergraduate and graduate students.
• All submissions must be submitted via the submission form on the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ website by 11:59:59 pm EDT on April 26, 2020.
• All submissions must be original artwork created by the artist(s) indicated on the submission form.
• Each individual artist may submit up to two (2) pieces for consideration.
• Groups may submit single works, provided none of none of their members exceed two submissions.
• Artwork may be in any two-dimensional format that can be digitally reproduced without degradation, including the following:

  • Digital photographs or manipulations
  • Digital illustrations
  • Video (not to exceed 10 minutes in length)

• Still work should be submitted as a jpeg file, with a 5 megapixel (2560 x 1920px) minimum resolution, in sRGB
• Video work should be submitted as an mp4 file, with a minimum resolution of 720p<
• Artists should include a 1-3 paragraph explanation of the work as part the submission form. The judging panel will use this statement when evaluating the piece. If the piece is selected, the statement will be mounted alongside the work.
• A panel of faculty and staff will judge submissions based on effectiveness in fusing interesting ethical ideas and artistic expression.
• Selected pieces will be displayed in a virtual art gallery hosted by the Kenan Institute for Ethics by May 4, followed by a virtual gallery opening.

Click here to submit work

Purpose coaching

Students who can align their interests and abilities with something bigger than themselves are more likely to be happy, excellent in their work, comfortable with uncertainty, and resilient in the face of disappointment. Purpose-oriented students are, simply put, more likely to thrive in complex, pressurized, and diverse environments—those like Duke. But purpose discernment is a skill—one best incubated in a supportive and structured way.

This summer, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is offering group purpose coaching sessions. We’ll begin with sessions for undergraduates and plan to expand to graduate/professional students and alumni in the coming weeks. Our goal is to facilitate a group processing of the current moment in all its complexity—together. What values, norms, and imperatives shape how we think about where we are going in life? How might we forge greater alignment between what we think is important and how we spend our time? Each session will explore a different topic as a springboard to a wide-ranging conversation on what purpose means now, and each session will end with concrete steps participants can take to move forward.

Times indicated are PM, EDT unless otherwise noted. We would like to accommodate students with diverse schedules in many time zones, please contact us if you are a student interested in joining a session at a different time. For scheduling queries or more information, contact Christian Ferney.

Ethical Tech Competition


In a memo, identify and propose a solution to an ethical problem in the area of emerging technology.

AWARD: Undergraduate Winner: $1,000; Graduate Winner: $1,000 |  Winning submissions will be posted on the Kenan Institute website.
LENGTH: 800 words
DEADLINE: Sunday, April 26, 11:59 PM
CONTACT: jeremy.buotte@duke.edu

Potential Topics:

Any ethical issue in emerging technology can be the topic of focus for the memo. Possible topics include:

  • algorithmic discrimination
  • cybersecurity and information security/data breaches
  • behavioral microtargeting and ad tech
  • regulation of autonomous vehicles
  • regulation of artificial intelligence and data governance
  • autonomous weapons
  • limiting encryption
  • censorship of the Internet or social media
  • foreign interference in elections and “fake news”
  • cybercrime and cyberwarfare
  • critical infrastructure
  • cyber attribution of cyber attacks
  • accuracy of predictive analytics
  • privacy enhancing technologies
  • algorithmic transparency and accountability
  • data ethics and cyber ethics
  • cyberbullying and cyberharassment
  • cyber diplomacy and Internet freedom
  • net neutrality
  • cybersurveillance

Additional Information:

Memos must include descriptive research and normative prescriptions for institutional responses or approaches. Citations must be in the form of links or in-text citations.

Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Ability to Identify and Articulate a Solution to an Emerging Tech Challenge;
  2. Consider Ethical, Social, and Practical Factors in Designing a Solution;
  3. Address Challenges with Implementation; and
  4. Clarity and Quality of Writing

Students may work in teams. Please note that awards will be equally split amongst team members.  


Merritt Baer

Merritt Baer is Principal Security Architect for Amazon Web Services (AWS). She is an emerging tech and infosec expert. She builds strategic initiatives for security and emerging technologies, including AWS’ Worldwide Rapid Prototyping.
Merritt is a double Harvard graduate with experience in all three branches of government and a strong publication record. She is a leader in computer security, an Internet law and business expert, and a technology entrepreneur.

Stuart Brotman

Stuart N. Brotman is currently serving as a Fellow at the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program in Washington, DC. He is the Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the first-ever visiting professor of entertainment and media law at Harvard Law. He also was the first Harvard Law School faculty member to teach telecommunications law. He served as a faculty member in Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy, and in the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. He held the first concurrent appointment in digital media at Harvard and MIT, respectively at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Program on Comparative Media Studies, and created the first study group on communications policymaking at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. Brotman also serves as an annual visiting lecturer in entertainment and media law at Stanford Law School.

Davi Ottenheimer

Davi in the last two years led development of client-side field-level encryption in a non-relational database. He brings 25+ years’ experience as a head of security and trust managing global security engineering, operations and assessments, and over a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. Davi has helped serve customer data protection needs across many industries including data storage and management, software, investment, banking, international retail, as well as higher education, healthcare and aerospace.

Ken Rogerson

Kenneth S. Rogerson is Professor of the Practice at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, and former Research Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University. He is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the Sanford Master’s of Public Policy Program and the Director of Duke’s Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate Program. He has served as chair of the American Political Science Association’s Information Technology and Politics Section and the International Studies Association’s International Communication Section.


Please email Jeremy Buotte (jeremy.buotte@duke.edu) with questions.