The Rock Ethics Institute

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Ethics Interest Groups

The Rock Ethics Institute supports the formation and continuing activities of collaborating scholars on ethics topics. We envision many Ethics Interest Groups beginning as reading/discussion groups to facilitate the development of a community that might eventually develop plans for larger projects that serve to cultivate moral awareness and inquiry.

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Program Objectives

Once members of an Ethics Interest Group formulate plans for such a project, they are encouraged to submit a Rock Ethics Initiative application. Ethics Interest Groups are open to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students of the Pennsylvania State University, as well as community and professional participants. The goals of our Ethics Interest Groups include:

    1. Facilitating collaborative research and inquiry in the area of ethics. 
    2. Building better connections between the Colleges at Penn State, as well as making links between faculty and staff at University Park and those at other Penn State campuses, including the Penn State College of Medicine and the Dickinson School of Law. 
    3. Building scholarly and outreach links between Penn State scholars and community members and professionals.
    4. Creating opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussion and projects in the area of ethics.
    5. Creating support groups that can assist their members in preparing and submitting grant proposals.

The Rock Ethics Institute will facilitate the development of these groups by providing assistance in organizing meetings, providing reading materials (books, copies of articles or reports, etc.), and publicizing the group’s activities. Ethics Interest Groups may also apply to the Rock Ethics Institute for Sponsorship of Speakers.

Ethics Interest Groups may be organized at any time during the year by submitting an application.


    1. Ethics Interest Groups must have at least one Penn State faculty member who serves as the coordinator and contact person for the group and who informs a Rock Ethics Institute Staff Assistant of any changes in membership.
    2. The Ethics Interest Group will be asked to provide an annual report of their activities, which includes a statement of whether or not the Group plans to continue for the next year and an overview of their plans for the next year. 
    3. We will also list Ethics Interest Group activities on our Web page and in our newsletter and will periodically ask groups to submit a short article for the newsletter. 
    4. All Ethics Interest Group projects and activities must appropriately acknowledge the Rock Ethics Institute. 
    5. Any applications for external funding that result from Ethics Interest Group activities will be administered through the Rock Ethics Institute.