For more than 20 years, the intellectual heart of the Center's activities was the Faculty Fellowship in Ethics program. Outstanding teachers and scholars from Harvard and other leading institutions of higher education throughout the world joined the Center to pursue a year of study designed to develop their competence to teach and write about ethical issues in the professions and in public life more generally. Led by founding director, Dennis F. Thompson, the Faculty Fellowship program proved essential in seeding and sustaining ethics-related course development, faculty development, and research at Harvard, and in creating a world-wide community of scholars committed to giving ethics a prominent place in the curriculum and on the agenda of research.
In 2009, with a mandate to expand the Center's mission, and drawing on the Thompson legacy, Center director Lawrence Lessig launched the Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, a five-year project designed to address fundamental questions of ethics in a way that is of practical benefit to institutions of government around the world, and to society generally. A new structure of fellowship offerings supports scholars, researchers, and leaders representing a wide range of disciplines across academia, industry, and government. Collaborative research that integrates the work of different fields is a strong component of the Lab's work.
As a woman philosopher, I appreciated the fact that within the Seminar and at other Program activities I was accepted and encouraged, rather than dissuaded from doing the best I could do. This is still a somewhat rare atmosphere for women, and so one is especially grateful to have it. I especially note Dennis Thompson's encouragement. In general, his intellectual insights, generosity, and encouragement greatly facilitated the work of the Seminar.
Frances M. Kamm, from Report on the Ethics Fellowship Year 1989-90