William R. and Betsy P. Leitch Ethics Seminars

It is a great honor for us that Bill Leitch '56 has agreed to a new name for Radius’s course offerings, which will now be known as the William R. and Betsy P. Leitch Ethics Seminars. Future students will receive a clear message that this MIT alum is watching out for them and championing their ethical growth. We know Bill will be as much of an inspiration to them as he has been to all of us.


Being, Thinking, Doing (Or Not!): Ethics in Your Life

Offered in cooperation with the MIT Philosophy Department (Course 24.191)

Our Spring 2022 seminar is being co-hosted by Thomas Byrne (Postdoctoral Associate in Philosophy) and Patricia-Maria Weinmann (Radius Associate Coordinator). 

Our weekly discussion-based seminar, with a simple dinner, introduces students to the field of ethics, with a focus on the daily choices we can make to create a more just world. The seminar helps students build relationships, investigate ethical problems, share resources, and clarify their personal and vocational principles. The course also introduces students to the work of guest scholars representing a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, economics, environmental studies, and urban planning.  This class will be held in-person with dinner provided. 

Some comments from student, Spring 2021:
I really enjoyed this class and appreciated having a kind of a "breath of fresh air" course where we could discuss interesting questions that we were interested in. 

Awesome and relevant material!

We were always encouraged to place topics under scutiny, making for a more productive class. 

I loved the guest speakers!


Community: The Ethics of Public Life, ES.S91

Spring 2022, Fridays 9:00-10:30 am

Our partners:  MIT's Educational Jusitice Initiative and the Boston Pre-Release Center

Led by Thea Keith-Lucas (Chaplain to the Institute, MIT)

In this class, we will examine a variety of topics in political philosophy. We will begin by looking at the unwritten rules that govern friendships, and move outward to learn about local communities, mutual aid, the governance of common resources, and social contracts. As equal partners with students in the the School of Re-entry, MIT students will also gain skills in communicating across difference.

The course will be held remotely. Classes will be highly interactive, with a focus on small-group discussion and group projects.

What students say about our ethics seminars:

  • “This class provided me with a foundation and vocabulary to be able to articulate my thoughts.”
  • “I really value that I got to talk with other students—especially those who didn’t think the same way I do. It was helpful to find common ground.”
  • “When I would hear other students’ thoughts, it would shake me up.”
  • “This class gave me the opportunity to study ethics in an applied way using solid information—great combination of facts and ethics!”
  • “I loved the different voices and opinions.”
  • “Now I have to figure out how to sustain my awareness and commit to change.”