Informing public discussion
Policy-relevant academic research should have a bearing on policy discussions. It is the mission of the Rock Ethics Institute to ensure this happens. For example, climate change is having -- and will continue to have -- profound effects on global health. The Institute and its collaborators address important questions of climate ethics in their White Paper on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change , which they have brought to the attention of policymakers at regional, national, and international levels.
In August 2007, the Rock co-sponsored an international conference on neuroethics at Penn State, brought together scientists, ethicists and regulators to address both the ethical and policy implications of recent developments in neurosurgery. The organizers of the event intend to publish a working paper that sets new directions for ethical research and analysis in this area. Similarly, the Institute will be the key sponsor of a Penn State workshop on the ethics of health-related food research in March 2008. The organizers recognize the importance of policy issues and, to that end, they have invited regulators and policy experts to participate. The Rock, in collaboration with the Center for Policy Research in Environment, Energy, and Community, will continue working to engage policymakers on a variety of issues in bioethics and health policy.