The Rock Ethics Institute

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Ethics in the Environment

Funded by the National Science Foundation - NSF #0529766

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Understanding how scientific research extends into the world-at-large is an important aspect of a scientist’s professionalization. During their professionalization, any scientist will face a number of questions concerning: the direction of their research; needing to fulfill the obligations that come with getting research funded; and certainty in the ability to make a particular claim about a topic which could prove politically, highly divisive. However, throughout their graduate training in the environmental sciences, students will rarely have an opportunity to engage with, in a classroom setting, the kind of real world decisions they will need to be making shortly after they complete their studies. Often times, the decisions environmental scientists face tend to be integrated broadly into issues directly concerning the wider well being of society and the environment, and reflect a need to produce an ethical valuation of a situation that is beyond the scope of scientific training alone.

The modules included here are designed to provide instructors with the resources they need to lead instructive discussions about how to approach the kind of ethical situations students are likely to face as they join the professional ranks in the environmental sciences.