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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.

Ask an Ethicist: Profiting from a Cure

by Rob Peeler Apr 12, 2016
Dan Cahoy Headshot Should someone be able to charge high prices for important medical information? Can one even own such knowledge? This week’s article shed’s some light on these questions by taking a look at whether or not it is ethical for an acupuncturist to charge other licensed acupuncturists a large sum of money to learn about key acupuncture points.

Income Inequality in Latin America and the Role of Policy

by Rob Peeler Apr 08, 2016
Source: Leah GalambaSource: Leah GalambaSource: Leah Galamba A strong interest in the culture and people of Latin America as well as a background in economics has led Leah Galamba to focus her thesis on the recent changes in income inequality within the region. Data collected here in the United States has allowed her to examine and quantify the effects of various policy changes on the level of inequality in eight different Latin American countries. Additionally, time spent abroad in Peru has given her a first-hand experience of what real inequality looks like and how real people, and the country, are affected by it.

'Should I change my honors thesis topic?': Some advice from someone who did

by Rob Peeler Apr 06, 2016
This summer I started preliminary research for my thesis. For a variety of reasons, I decided to change my topic and start from scratch. This was a difficult decision, but something that I knew had to be done. In looking back on this experience I realized that others might benefit from my mistakes. Below are a few ways that I knew it was time to change.

“Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free”: The Particularity of Migrants’ Experiences

by Rob Peeler Apr 04, 2016
A sign hung by the advocacy group Just Citizenship prior to Ireland’s 2004 Citizenship Referendum. Source: Sinead O’Carroll, “Yes, No, or Ask Again: Voting in Ireland’s referendums over the years,” The Journal, Sept. 22, 2012. Cross-cultural comparisons are often used to generate empathy for those experiencing oppression. Focusing on the particular experience of Ireland’s 2004 Citizenship Referendum, this article argues for the problematic nature of such comparisons, suggesting the need for recognizing the particularity of minoritized populations’ experiences.

Fifth annual bike ride to Washington to urge action on climate change

by Rob Peeler Apr 01, 2016
On Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m., several cyclists will gather in front of the State College Borough building to begin a training ride for the 2016 PA-to-DC Bike Trip. This 4-day, 200-mile ride to Washington, D.C. begins on April 29 to urge Congress to respond to climate change. For the fifth year in a row these riders are sponsored by Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (, a religious response to climate change.

Four Penn State Researchers named Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellows

by Rob Peeler Apr 04, 2016
Jeffrey M. CatchmarkRosemary Jolly headshotPhoto used on people page.Amit Sharma headshot The fellows, Jeffery M. Catchmark, Rosemary Jolly, Sarah Clark Miller, and Amit Sharma, will help support initiatives that integrate curricular and research components by building interdisciplinary collaborations that will advance the Rock’s goal of integrating ethics into the Penn State curriculum.

Ask an Ethicist: Should I engage with lay audiences about my research?

by Rob Peeler Mar 30, 2016
Brad R. Woods Headshot We now have access to more information than we’ve ever had and it keeps growing by the minute. We can quickly pull up restaurant reviews, journal articles, and real-time weather within seconds from devices in our pockets. But what happens when you come across something online that you know to be incorrect because you spent your life researching that topic? Should you feel compelled to engage in this online discussion since you’re an expert with several related publications?

Diversifying a Discipline - Penn State produced an unprecedented number of black, female Ph.D.s in philosophy

by Rob Peeler Mar 29, 2016
In 2015, Penn State produced an unprecedented number of black, female Ph.D.s in philosophy. Here’s how.

Ask an Ethicist: Is it wrong to ask my son about his combat service?

by Rob Peeler Mar 14, 2016
Justin Synder Headshot Combat experience is sometimes difficult to talk about, especially for loved ones. Concerned parents want to learn more about their children’s time in the military, but many aren’t sure how to go about it. This week’s column helps explain why many veterans choose not to talk about their experiences and suggests that being there to listen, not asking, is the most ethical way to communicate with them.