About Rock Ethics Institute


What We Do

The Rock Ethics Institute (REI) promotes engaged ethics research and leadership from its home in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts.

The mission of the REI is threefold:

The Institute’s core faculty lead our research, teaching, and outreach efforts. These faculty hold joint appointments in the REI and in colleges across Penn State.

Our affiliate faculty, also drawn from across the University, support the Institute’s mission by participating in our research initiatives, teaching ethics-related courses, mentoring students and colleagues, guiding the REI‘s strategic planning, and engaging in campus and community outreach on issues of ethics and justice.

With nearly 70 faculty representing a wide range of theoretical and applied disciplines, the Institute supports ethically-informed and evidence-based solutions at the intersections of bioethics, business, climate science, communications, data science, engineering, food sciences, gender and sexuality studies, geography, health sciences, international development, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, and other fields.

The Institute supports research initiatives and projects through seed funding and research fellowships for faculty and students, with a focus on projects that engage student researchers and cultivate community partnerships. Institute research is also supported by external grants and foundation support, including funding from the National Science Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.

Engaged scholarship through the Rock Ethics Institute would not be possible without the $5 million gift from Doug and Julie Rock that established the Institute in 2001. In 2011, the Rocks further invested in the REI, endowing the Nancy Tuana Directorship of the Rock Ethics Institute with an additional $5 million gift.