The Rock Ethics Institute

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Nancy Tuana

Nancy Tuana

DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy

and Women's Studies

240C Sparks Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-1653


Nancy Tuana was the founding director of Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute.  She is a philosopher of science and feminist science studies theorist who specializes in issues of ethics and science. Dr. Tuana is part of an interdisciplinary research team at Penn State that has developed a more robust model of research ethics to more adequately reflect the impacts of ethical issues in scientific practice.  Her research includes coupled ethical-epistemic issues in the field of climate science.  In this domain, she Co-PI of the NSF Sustainability Research Network on Sustainable Climate Risk Management.  Her research for this project focuses on how best to develop climate risk management strategies that are ethically defensible as well as sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient.  This research also includes the ethical issues raised by geoengineering proposals.  She is also engaged in research on justice issues in the context of climate change and is author of a number of articles on the topic of gender and climate change.

The Rock Ethics Institute has as its mission to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University by integrating the study of ethics throughout the curriculum and ensuring that integrity is a part of the culture of our community. It has been Dr. Tuana’s goal as director to ensure that one of the legacies of a Penn State education is ethical integrity and ethical leadership. The Rock Ethics Institute, under her direction, had also taken the lead nationally and internationally in developing innovative interdisciplinary ethical research. Current research foci include climate change ethics, bioethics, and K-12 moral literacy.