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 2023 seminar is  co-hosted by Anni Raty (Postdoctoral Associate in Philosophy) and Nina Lytton (Acting Director of Radius). 

Life is rife with ethical questions. How do you navigate love, hate, faith, political disagreement, online bullies, voting, or the changing climate? The aim of this seminar is to prompt you to reflect on your own ethical commitments, and to equip you with tools for ethical thinking, being, and doing (or not!). 

The seminar meets weekly over dinner. Meetings are led by invited speakers and MIT faculty. Topics vary depending on the expressed interests of seminar participants, and may include: political polarization, love and relationships, criminal punishment, climate change, activism, capitalism, technology ethics, and more.

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, Ethics, and Leadership, ES.S90

Thursdays, 2:30-4:30pm at South Bay (Allow 1:30-5:30 for travel)

Our partners:  MIT's Educational Justice Initiative and the South Bay House of Corrections

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

How do communities work together to create change? In this course, we will draw on philosophy, economics, psychology and other social sciences to understand the written and unwritten rules that shape our communities. Topics include shared resources, community organizing, charity, reform, and mutual aid. We will also explore the skills that leaders need to find creative, collective solutions. Taught by Thea Keith-Lucas (theakl@mit.edu) in partnership with The Educational Justice Institute (https://www.teji.mit.edu/) MIT students will learn alongside incarcerated students at the South Bay House of Corrections. Allow 1:30pm-5:30pm for travel to and from the facility.

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.”