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Bioethics

"Chance or Choice:" What is Genetic Enhancement?

by khepler Jul 16, 2015
Contributors: Ryan Pollock
DNA In the first post of this series I give a broad overview of some of the ethical issues arising from the "new genetics."

"Weakness of the Will:" A Toxic Social Environment

by khepler Jul 16, 2015
Contributors: Ryan Pollock
Happy Meal In my last post I focused on the question of whether it is acceptable to limit access to foods which contribute to the struggle of obesity. Another important aspect of this issue, however, is the manner in which those foods are marketed.

"Weakness of Will:" Challenges in the Struggle Against Obesity

by khepler Jul 21, 2015
Contributors: Ryan Pollock
Obesity is a complex problem and it may require more than just physical change.

4th Annual Rural Studies Student Conference: Reconceptualizing Rural Contexts

by rjp218 Nov 02, 2016
Dr. Kimberly Pfeifer delivers a keynote address on mapping global food systemsFaculty and students participate in a Q&A session following a presentation On October 28th and 29th, 2016 Penn State’s Rural Sociology Graduate Association hosted the 4th Annual Rural Studies Student Conference at Penn State’s University Park campus. The conference provided workshops, keynote presentations, paper sessions, and networking opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students from Penn State and other institutions. We are excited to announce that this year’s conference nearly doubled its previous attendance. We had over 75 people register, from 10 different schools and organizations, with representatives from more than 15 departments and programs across the Penn State campus.

“At Least You’ve Got Your Hope”: Against Hope in Medical Bioethics

by khepler Jul 16, 2015
Contributors: Jonathan Marks
CarriageGlove As a case in bioethics, the case of Rosemary’s Baby (1968) serves to demonstrate several things.

“That’s Me All the Way”

by khepler Jul 21, 2015
Contributors: Bryan Cwik
Wikimedia Commons The O’Bannon Case, College Sports, and Property Rights in One’s Image and Public Likeness

2016 Stand Up awardees speak at ‘The Village at Penn State’

by rjp218 Oct 27, 2016
2016 Stand Up honorees The 2016 Stand Up honorees, Jaden Rankin-Wahlers, Alanna Kaiser and Nathan Larkin, spoke at ‘The Village at Penn State: State College Retirement Communities’ on Friday, October 21, 2016. The students presented on the topics of which they were honored last spring.

Amoral Victory?

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015

Announcing the 2014 Stand Up Award Honorees

by khepler May 01, 2015
Announcing the 2014 Stand Up Award Honorees For Zachary Brubaker, taking a stand means uniting the blind and sighted to promote respect and equality for workers with disabilities. For Maggie Cardin, taking a stand means working to educate emerging teachers to recognize and prevent depression and suicide in students. Two Penn State students received the 2014 Stand Up Award for showing courage and fortitude and demonstrating ethical leadership through personal example. The Stand Up Awards are sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State

Are Ethical Arguments for Climate Change Action Weaker Than Self-Interest Based Arguments? Why Taking Ethical Arguments Off the Table Is Like A Soccer Team Unilaterally Taking The Goalie Out of the Net.

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
Many commentators to ClimateEthics argue that since people are self-interested beings, it is more important to make arguments in support of climate change based upon self-interest rather than ethical arguments. Some go so far to assert that people don't care about ethics and therefore only self-interest-based arguments should be used to convince people to enact domestic climate change legislation. In other words, they argue:"get real" only self-interest arguments matter.

Ask an Ethicist: Can I practice interviewing during an actual interview?

by rjp218 Nov 03, 2016
Cassie Rosas Interviewing can be stressful and a common way to help become better at interviewing is practice. But what happens when someone uses actual interviews with companies they have no interest in to just practice? Is it ethical to take away these interview slots to just practice or are there better ways to handle this situation?

Ask an Ethicist: Can I share my interview questions with peers?

by rjp218 Sep 09, 2016
Wayne Cross headshot In preparation for Fall Career Days at Penn State, we are publishing a five-part series retailed to the career-fair. Interviews can be stressful, especially for the first time. Many people feel that if they know the questions ahead of time, they’ll do a better job as they will be prepared. But is that really true? And, is knowing the questions ahead of time ethical or is it considered cheating?

Ask an Ethicist: Can I turn down an accepted internship offer for a better one?

by rjp218 Sep 13, 2016
Katie Wysocki Headeshot Question: I pushed myself to apply to top companies for my summer internship. I was so excited to get an offer from Company A that I accepted the internship immediately fearing I might not get another offer. However, I just received an internship offer from Company B, which is my top choice. I would much rather work at Company B, but I’m concerned reneging on the original accepted offer from Company A could hurt future opportunities. Can I change my mind? I have not started working at Company A yet.

Ask an Ethicist: Can money raised for a charity 5K be used to pay entry fees?

by rjp218 Feb 18, 2016
Francisco Javier Lopez Headshot Spring is around the corner, and that means all kinds of worthwhile charity 5K races. Many of these races have a reasonably priced entrance fee, but they also encourage runners to raise money for the charity. What if you create a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for that charity and want to pay for the entrance fee from the money that was raised? Is that ethical? Today's column looks at this dilemma and offers some advice.

Ask an Ethicist: Can Plato help us pick the next president?

by rjp218 Feb 24, 2016
Image: Joel Priddy Caucus season is here. In picking the next POTUS, how do we choose well? Common criteria include candidates’ takes on specific issues, their ability to serve as commander in chief, and how we imagine they would navigate delicate international imbroglios. But what about ethical leadership? This week's column discusses what Plato and the power of invisibility can teach us about the role of ethical leadership in contemporary democracy.

Ask an Ethicist: Does posting photos of my kids on social media violate their privacy?

by rjp218 Jan 26, 2017
Daniel Susser Social media has become an integral part of many of our lives. We open Facebook and Instagram when we wake up in the morning, and we check them one last time before we go to sleep. These services are important to us, because they connect us with others. But what happens when parents post photos of their children? Does it violate their privacy?

Ask an Ethicist: Embellishing on a résumé

by rjp218 Sep 09, 2016
Erica Kryst Headshot In preparation for Fall Career Days at Penn State, we are publishing a five-part series retailed to the career-fair. In many cases, the résumé is your first point of contact with the employer. You know how important it is and you really want to stand out from the competition. Is it ethical to embellish or exaggerate a bit on your résumé?

Ask an Ethicist: How important is empathy in the U.S. Presidential election?

by rjp218 Oct 18, 2016
Daryl Cameron headshot As Election Day nears, voters are debating the qualities that make for an effective leader. One of these contested qualities is empathy: the ability to understand and resonate with the experiences of others. Does it matter if a President can relate to you and care about what you are going through?

Ask an Ethicist: Is it ethical to use robots to kill in a war?

by rjp218 Feb 24, 2017
Alan R. Wagner The advent of autonomous (self-controlled) robots presents important new questions for those who study robotics and ethics. Most people who study these topics believe that recent advances in autonomous robots and artificial intelligence will fundamentally change warfare. Autonomous robots, because they are not physiologically limited, can operate without sleep or food, perceive things that people do not, and move in ways that humans cannot. These abilities result in military advantages. Some scholars passionately argue that the use of robots to kill in war is unethical and others suggest that using robots in warfare may actually be more ethical than not using robots. So, is it ethical to use robots to kill during a war?

Ask an Ethicist: Is it ethical to accept an internship offer from networking only?

by rjp218 Jan 16, 2017
Susan Knell Networking can sometimes help land an internship. But sometimes we may feel guilty because we don’t feel that we deserve the internship because of other factors, such as lower grades. Would it be unethical for you to accept an internship based on networking alone?

Ask an Ethicist: Is it wrong to ask my son about his combat service?

by rjp218 Mar 14, 2016
Justin Synder Headshot Combat experience is sometimes difficult to talk about, especially for loved ones. Concerned parents want to learn more about their children’s time in the military, but many aren’t sure how to go about it. This week’s column helps explain why many veterans choose not to talk about their experiences and suggests that being there to listen, not asking, is the most ethical way to communicate with them.

Ask an Ethicist: Lost property on campus

by rjp218 Dec 05, 2016
Tom Sowerby This happens to all of us. For days, sometimes weeks, we may see a forgotten umbrella or other lost item sitting in the back of a classroom or office. After some time, many of us wonder if we could simply take that lost property. Is it ethical to take the lost property?

Ask an Ethicist: Making amends for lying on a resume

by rjp218 Feb 09, 2017
Brenda Fabian headshot Getting a great job right out of school can be challenging. Sometimes you may be tempted to embellish a bit on your resume or alter some of your professional or educational experience. Lying on your resume not only affects you, but your colleagues, supervisors, and those who didn’t get the job you landed. Lying on your resume also puts your company’s reputation at risk. So what happens when someone who lied on their resume wants to go back and set things right? This week’s column discusses just that.

Ask an Ethicist: Profiting from a Cure

by rjp218 Apr 12, 2016
Dan Cahoy Headshot Should someone be able to charge high prices for important medical information? Can one even own such knowledge? This week’s article shed’s some light on these questions by taking a look at whether or not it is ethical for an acupuncturist to charge other licensed acupuncturists a large sum of money to learn about key acupuncture points.

Ask an Ethicist: Reporting food safety problems

by rjp218 Aug 22, 2016
Amit Sharma headshot Serving safe and healthy food is a priority for the vast majority restaurateurs. But, sometimes the cost or lack of knowledge makes it difficult for chefs or owners to implement the necessary processes to ensure food safety standards are met. What happens if an employee of the restaurant notices a consistent lack of concern for food safety? Should the employee report it to the proper authorities, take action, or both?

Ask an Ethicist: Representing yourself honestly in an interview

by rjp218 Mar 13, 2017
Saleem Clarke headshot Consider your personal brand; how can you honestly represent yourself to potential employers? We have all heard the phrase “honesty is the best policy” but sometimes during an interview it is not clear what implications our honesty will have on our employability. Sure, we all want to present ourselves in the best possible light, but some interview questions can make us consider how to respond in a truthful and ethical manner.

Ask an Ethicist: Serving as a reference (or not)

by rjp218 Sep 09, 2016
Jennifer Eury In preparation for Fall Career Days at Penn State, we are publishing questions over the next week that will discuss internships, interviewing, résumés, and reference writing. This first question centers around writing reference letters. Most of us have either served as a reference for someone or asked someone to serve as a reference for us. But what happens when someone is asked to serve as a reference for a colleague or student and for whatever reason, the individual is not comfortable serving in this capacity? How should someone respond to the request?

Ask an Ethicist: Should I attend a career fair after accepting a job offer?

by rjp218 Sep 09, 2016
Lesley Jackson Headshot In preparation for Fall Career Days at Penn State, we are publishing questions over the next week that will discuss internships, interviewing, résumés, and reference writing. This question centers around attendance at the career fair. It's a great moment when you finally get that first job or internship offer. It feels even better to formally accept the offer, feeling secure about that next step in your career. But what if that offer comes before a career fair and you accept? Is it ethical to still attend the fair and take up the time recruiters could be spending with other students?

Ask an Ethicist: Should I accept a job from an internship that didn't seem like the right fit?

by rjp218 Sep 09, 2016
Ashley Rippey In preparation for Fall Career Days at Penn State, we are publishing questions over the next week that will discuss internships, interviewing, résumés, and reference writing. This question centers around a job offer from an internship that didn't seem like the right fit. There are ethical implications in deciding whether to accept a job offer after completing an internship or co-op. Today, we discover what some of those issues might be and how to approach them.