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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

Learn how ethics is part of our everyday lives by reading articles and stories that show ethical dilemmas are everywhere.

Welcome Message from the Interim Director

by Rob Peeler Sep 13, 2016
Eduardo Mendieta headshot It is my pleasure to welcome you back to another exciting year at the Rock Ethics Institute. This coming year promises to be a busy but also a creative and hope inspiring one for all of us at the Rock and the University Community in general.

Ask an Ethicist: Serving as a reference (or not)

by Rob Peeler Sep 09, 2016
Jennifer Eury In preparation for Fall Career Days at Penn State, we are publishing questions over the next week that will discuss internships, interviewing, résumés, and reference writing. This first question centers around writing reference letters. Most of us have either served as a reference for someone or asked someone to serve as a reference for us. But what happens when someone is asked to serve as a reference for a colleague or student and for whatever reason, the individual is not comfortable serving in this capacity? How should someone respond to the request?

Should we care about how nature is thought of in other cultures?

by Rob Peeler Aug 26, 2016
Brett Davis Headshot Yes, and for several reasons. To begin with it is important to recognize that while we share the earth, ocean waters, and atmosphere with the rest of humanity, and while societies around the globe must cooperate in order to effectively respond to the dangers and even existential threat of climate change, our different cultures have conditioned us to experience natural phenomena and to understand the relation between humans and (the rest of) nature in different ways. Our artistic, scientific, philosophical, and religious traditions shape the ways in which we conceive of and perceive nature.

Ask an Ethicist: Reporting food safety problems

by Rob Peeler Aug 22, 2016
Amit Sharma headshot Serving safe and healthy food is a priority for the vast majority restaurateurs. But, sometimes the cost or lack of knowledge makes it difficult for chefs or owners to implement the necessary processes to ensure food safety standards are met. What happens if an employee of the restaurant notices a consistent lack of concern for food safety? Should the employee report it to the proper authorities, take action, or both?

Faculty member's work on ethics honored in teaching contest

by Rob Peeler Aug 19, 2016
Yael Warshel Teaching Contest Award Yael Warshel, an assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunications who holds a dual appointment in the University-wide Rock Ethics Institute, won second place in the International Communication Division teaching contest for a focus on the ethics of international reporting. Her project was titled “Responding to a Diverse and Global World: Ethics of International Reporting.”

Ask an Ethicist: Ethical communication in personal relationships

by Rob Peeler Aug 02, 2016
Denise Solomon Is it ethical to withhold information from someone with whom you have a close, personal relationship? What if that information will upset your relationship partner? This week’s article considers ethical communication in personal relationships, and it offers insight into questions about when you should disclose to your partner, and when you might be able to keep sensitive news to yourself.

Ask an Ethicist: Fairness in the workplace

by Rob Peeler Sep 13, 2016
Being treated fairly in the workplace means being treated equally to others in the work group and in a non-arbitrary and respectful manner. So what happens when one employee feels that the supervisor is giving projects to colleagues instead of the employee and is treating the concerned employee negatively? What options does this employee have and what ethical concerns should be considered?

Rock Ethics Institute names new director

by Rob Peeler May 10, 2016
Ted Toadvine headshot Ted Toadvine, professor of philosophy and environmental studies at the University of Oregon, has been named director of the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State. Toadvine’s tenure as director will begin in January 2017.

21st Annual CSLEE Values and Leadership Conference - Conference Information

by Rob Peeler May 09, 2016
21 CSLEE Values and Leadership Conference The conference will be held in London, Ontario, Canada from October 20 through October 22. The theme this year is "Leadership in Uncertain Times: Complex Dilemmas and Ethical Possibilities."

21st Annual CSLEE Values and Leadership Conference - Call for Proposals

by Rob Peeler May 10, 2016
page1image6984 The CSLEE’s annual Values and Leadership conference is a three-day conference that promotes research and reflection on issues in values, morals, ethics, and leadership in education. The theme of the conference is Leadership in Uncertain Times: Complex Dilemmas and Ethical Possibilities. We propose that ethical and moral educational leadership plays an even more heightened role in supporting civil societies following international tragedies, such as those that took place in Beirut and Paris in 2015. The deadline for proposals is June 1, 2016.