Entries by Brian Gallagher

“Superstore” and the Science of Pitching Social Change at Work

In an episode of NBC’s sitcom Superstore, Cheyenne, a teenage associate at a Walmart-like retail giant called Cloud-9, goes into labor on the store floor. Coworkers rush for medical supplies as customers spectate out of curiosity and boredom. Cheyanne’s at work so late in her pregnancy because her employer doesn’t offer paid maternity leave—she can’t […]

The Case Against A.I. Controlling Our Moral Compass

Earlier this month, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, I saw something, or someone, that would, on any other day, be out of place: a philosopher. Damon Horowitz—a philosopher at Columbia University who has a history of serial entrepreneurship and was once In-House Philosopher and Director of Engineering at Google—was here to lend […]

Ethics Bots and Other Ways to Move Your Code of Business Conduct Beyond Puffery

Eugene Soltes, a professor at Harvard Business School and an expert in why people commit fraud, gave a keynote speech at our recent Ethics by Design conference on how to engineer integrity in organizations. Part of that effort involves crafting effective codes of business conduct. Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge recently discussed Soltes’ new research […]

The Lawyer Who Wants to Transform Legal Ethics with Behavioral Science

Tigran Eldred started his career as an appellate lawyer, working on behalf of criminal defendants who had been convicted of serious offenses. This often meant he needed to investigate whether his clients had received adequate representation by their trial attorneys. Too often, though, when he would question a trial lawyer about why certain decisions were—or […]

Is Creative Talent Critical to Ethical Systems Design?

In March, Ethical Systems hosted its second “Ethics by Design” conference. It showcased not just the expertise of top behavioral-science researchers and business practitioners, but also the challenges—both empirical and managerial—that they face in redesigning organizations to function more ethically. As social psychologist Jon Haidt, the Founding Director of Ethical Systems, said in his closing […]

Miss the 2019 Ethics by Design Conference? Watch It Online

Jon Haidt, in his closing remarks during our second Ethics by Design conference, wanted to share his overall takeaway, encapsulating a day’s worth of ideas on managing organizations in an era of anxiety, polarization, and disruption. “We’re always talking about the importance of systems—ethical systems, designing systems. At the end of the day, I have a much […]

How the Stressful World of Science Can Be Healthier (and More Ethical)

Last month, Tim van der Zee, a Ph.D. student at the University of Leiden who studies ways to improve open online education, got a bit snarky. He didn’t take well to a recent news article from Science magazine about how meditation can help Ph.D. students handle their outsized rates of anxiety and depression. “A recent study […]

The Hidden Insights Evolution Has for Healthy Businesses

Charles Darwin ended The Origin of Species, his argument for evolution by natural selection, on a note of celebrated eloquence. “There is grandeur to this view of life,” he wrote, “with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according […]

How to Make Lying at Your Company Normal

Earlier this month at the Beacon Theater, in New York City, Daniel Kahneman, famed author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, had a conversation with neuroscientist Sam Harris. It ranged over many of the topics the Nobel Prize-winning behavioral scientist has explored in his work. This included the “remembering” and “experiencing” self, where intuitions reliably fail, […]

Wall Street and the Behavioral Science of Making Culture Ethical

Before he became “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort, when he arrived in New York in the 1980s, was more like a starry-eyed sheep. That’s how Leonardo DiCaprio plays him in The Wolf of Wall Street, the film adapted from Belfort’s 2007 memoir of his years as a stockbroker. In an early scene from […]