By Cassandra Pattanayak (Wellesley College)
When Wellesley College, a liberal arts college for women, created a data science major in 2019, the approved proposal promised that students would learn about data ethics. None of our courses included data ethics at that time, though. This poster describes the case-based data ethics modules that have now been taught to groups of 25-80 students in a second-level applied statistics course, in person and remotely, and students’ enthusiastic response to this material. In particular, a focus on the intersection between data science and race- and gender-based discrimination engaged a population of students who often lacked the confidence to speak up about technical course content but cared deeply about social justice. The students who seemed most inspired by this material went on to become data science majors, organize invited talks by data ethics researchers, and hold students-only roundtable discussions on the cultural significance of data.